Squash and Stretch
Sparky is a Minimatronic Figure (TM) courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development. The 18 d.o.f. robot is tendon-driven using small servos, and it can be made to reproduce human-like motions. An immediate application for Sparky will the automated lab tour. By mounting Sparky on a mobile base, it will be used to guide visitors on a tour of the lab. It will stop at various locations of interest to describe, using speech and gestures, the research projects of the lab members. Ultimately, it may also be shown that Sparky's inviting appearance will be useful for other human-robot interaction projects.