Are you excited to walk around Disney’s Avengers Campus, which opens at Disneyland California on June 4? No? There’s a pandemic, you say? OK, fair.
Let’s try this another way: Would you be excited to walk around Disney’s Avengers Campus if you knew there was a free-roaming robot modeled after Teen Groot that you might run into? Sure, wait until you’re vaccinated. “Robot Teen Groot-as-tourist attraction” is still more “if” than “when” at this point — the YouTube description makes that clear.
But the Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development team did indeed build the thing, and it could offer a glimpse at what some of the future character interactions at Disney parks might look like. (Hopefully not at the expense of actors’ jobs. Right, Disney?)
In the above video, you can see a pre-skin Teen Groot robot wandering around an office looking like some new kind of Boston Dynamics creation after its upper half has been cut off. Just a pair of robot legs bouncing around, looking all weird and vaguely creepy.
The visual comes together by the end of the video, with Teen Grootbot fully dressed and ready for greeting park guests. It waves! It dances! It’s as adorable as the “real” CG creation from the movie, but potentially something you can fist bump! What’s not to love?