Disney’s increasingly humanlike new robot (DisneyResearchHub/YouTube)

Take a look at the latest animatronic robot from Disney and note quite how ‘human-like’ the eye contact is.

That’s because research and development engineers at the House of Mouse have come up with a new system that makes the robots appear more humanoid.

Rather than holding your gaze completely, the robot will momentarily look away or lose focus during a conversation. This mimics our own tendency to let our eyes wander while talking rather than staring directly at the other person like…well, a robot.

This tech has been accompanied with more realistic head and neck movements to try and make the interaction more fluid.

A chest-mounted sensor picks up stimuli that can make the robot glance at something else or turn and face you if you move.

The thinking is it could be used for forthcoming Disney movies or for the company’s amusement park rides.

Now they just need to hurry up and put some fake skin on it to stop it looking like a talking zombie skull.


MORE : Robot dolphins could replace captive animals at theme parks


MORE : Bizarre underwater ‘squidbot’ is a breakthrough in soft robotics