As reported in this great behind-the-scenes piece by Matthew Panzarino at TechCrunch, Project Kiwi is an in-development robotics platform from the Disney’s Imagineering research and development division. The result of now more than three years of work, it’s a small robot that can move and act on its own and take the form of many different characters.
It’s worth reading the entire article, which also highlights some of the remaining challenges in getting it out of the lab. One upcoming area of focus is a new set of actuators that will make the robot better equipped to handle being rushed for a hug by a kid. The team is also working on a new sensor suite that will allow Kiwi to better understand the world and identify human faces. Battery life is not surprisingly another area that needs improvement. The current model can go about 45 minutes on a single charge. MORE@TechCrunch