Science | October 30, 2020 2:30 pm

Disney Made a Creepy Robot With a “Lifelike Gaze”

Just what we all wanted

Disney lifelike robot
This will haunt your dreams.
Disney ResearchHub

Oh, good. As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about these days, Disney has developed a robot with a disturbingly realistic gaze, meant to create the “illusion of life,” that will surely haunt your dreams.

The robot, which does not have skin but does have lifelike eyes and teeth, was developed by engineers at Disney’s research division, Walt Disney Imagineering, along with robotics researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the California Institute of Technology.

As Gizmodo points out, “There are subtle movements you don’t really think about when engaging with another person, but even just when staring into someone’s eyes, your head will slowly make small movements and adjustments (including a subtle up and down motion as you breathe in and out), and your eyes will make constant corrections, given human vision is limited to focusing on an area that makes up just 2% of a person’s complete field of view.”

With that in mind, the robot is designed to identify when a person is trying to engage with it and turn directly toward them with the help of a chest-mounted sensor, as well as react to external stimuli off in the distance (like turning its head to look after hearing a loud noise outside its field of vision, for example).

It’s a significant step forward in creating a totally realistic humanoid robot. And don’t worry, we’re pretty sure it only looks like it wants to kill you in your sleep. You can check out a demonstration of the robot and its creepy lifelike stare in the video below.