After having a massive impact on a diverse range of manufacturing industries, the advent of automation is now revolutionising entertainment. From AI in movies to robotic technologies that bring beloved characters to life, automation and machine learning are helping people have new and exhilarating experiences. Here is how robots have started influencing the industry’s future.
Disney: autonomous robot stunt doubles
Experts at the Disney Imagineering R&D bridged the gap between the dynamic characters in their films and the public’s theme park experience with the Stuntronics project. They created autonomous, self-correcting aerial performers to work as ‘stunt doubles’, especially for Disneyland park attractions. Featuring on-board movement and speed sensors, supported by laser range finding, they are capable of being slung from a wire to fly, spin and land safely, while doing midair heroic poses, perfectly mimicking characters in films.
Robots & cinematic automation in Hollywood
Much has been said about the ‘digital era’ of Hollywood, using AI to make the film-making process easier than ever and scenes more realistic, while robots were deemed hard to use and wasteful in terms of resources. Yet in the last few years, a company called Bot&Dolly created bots that can successfully automate the shooting process. Made from industrial robotic pieces, but boasting an easy-to-use software and interface, they helped film the movie ‘Gravity’, a technically ambitious blockbuster. Their speed, precision and coordination of movement led to a seemingly effortless and synchronised arrangement of lights, props, and even actor positions, all to create the perfect shots.
What’s more, the set designers and artists can now have an array of robotic sculpting machines (RMC series by Grind Master), that work with precision and speed on a variety of materials and sizes. Built with a programming system that analyses the 3D design given by a human, they can automate the process and could free up more time for creative minds to develop new ideas.
While many are afraid robots will ‘take over’ conventional human jobs, their introduction into the entertainment industry shows that machines can collaborate with inventive humans and expand their array of possibilities, to the audiences’ delight.