IEEE Spectrum recently profiled the advanced robotic puppet “Jimmy” and its lead developer John P. Whitney. The human-controlled robot played with a roll of tape and a Winnie the Pooh toy in a video shared by Disney Research. The advanced robotic puppet uses hybrid hydrostatic transmission that makes it capable of very smooth motion.
Jimmy is controlled by a human operator viewing what the robot “sees” through a virtual reality headset, and that human element gives a natural and lifelike appearance to the robot as it moves.
The project is a collaboration between Disney Research, the Catholic University of America, and Carnegie Mellon University. A video we posted earlier this year highlighted some of the more delicate work the robot is capable of, like lifting and gently placing an egg.