Disney Has Made a Free-Walking Groot that May One Day Be In Disney Parks | IGN

Disney Imagineers have made a fully mobile, bipedal version of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Groot, and it may one day be walking around Disney Parks.

As reported by TechCrunch, this adorable Groot is part of a walking bipedal robotics platform called Project Kiwi, a “first of its kind for Disney and a real robotics milestone.”

Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn shared a short gif of this Groot in action, and it’s pretty great. You can also see a more in-depth video of the tech behind Groot and Project Kiwi here.

IAMGROOT-720x405 Disney Has Made a Free-Walking Groot that May One Day Be In Disney Parks | IGN
Image Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering R&D Inc.

Disney has made some impressive robots/animatronics in the past of characters like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’s Hondo Ohnaka and Avatar’s Na’Vi Shaman, but those have always been stuck in place. This version is free to walk around, wave, and be as wonderfully cute as Groot is known to be.

This platform was developed over the past three years by WDI researchers and robotics, and while Groot is the character being featured at the moment, this is “a platform first and foremost, which means it could take this form when it gets to the parks, or another form entirely.”

There are currently no immediate plans to bring Project Kiwi to the parks, as there is still much work to be done, but its an impressive achievement none-the-less and a glimpse of what the future of Disney robotics can look like.

[ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/2017/07/28/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-designing-baby-groot-bonus-feature”%5D

This is another example of Disney working hard behind-the-scenes to bring movie magic to the real world, and follows its announcement that it is working on a realistic, retractable lightsaber from Star Wars.

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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.
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