You may not know it, but Disney has some serious research labs, and they don’t just work on movies.
In fact, not only does The Walt Disney Company have multiple R&D labs in their home state of California, but there are also labs in Pennsylvania and even as far away as Switzerland. One of the latest developments from the Company’s think-tanks, is a completely untethered robot (meaning it doesn’t need to be plugged in or assisted) that moves in bounces! Check it out below:
The pogo-style machine is relatively light, weighing in at less than five pounds, and stands about a foot tall. Its structure is made up of an abdomen (or torso) and a single, bouncing leg. According to the video, the leg runs on a motor system that is very similar to a loud-speaker. Naming it a linear elastic actuator in parallel, earns it the convenient acronym LEAP.
In all honesty, the video’s statement that it “can enable hopping, up to 19 hops” really doesn’t impress us very much. And in truth, there isn’t a clear use for the thing yet. But if anyone can find a way to utilize it, its Disney. Who knows, it could be the next BB8, which not only made Star Wars look way better with some practical effects, but also sold amazingly well as a real-life toy.
It might not be fully developed yet, but we’re keeping our eyes out for any suspiciously “bouncy” characters in Disney’s future releases.