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Circuit Breaker

Disney's telepresence robot is shockingly precise

The future is a man behind a curtain, operating a robot

Disney Research has built an incredibly accurate telepresence robot that can nearly match a human's motions one for one. The telepresence robot uses a combination of stereo cameras and an air and water hydraulics system, which allows for more precise controls by its human operator.

The operator uses a head-mounted display to see through the robots perspective, and can handle delicate objects like eggs without cracking them, and even thread a needle. Although this is far from the first telepresence robot — theme parks have used different variations of telepresence robots to allow characters to naturally interact with people — Disney's offering shows the potential of telepresence robots can go much farther than simply waving at kids in Magic Kingdom.