Morgan Pope (left) and Moritz Bächer (right) presenting the new Disney robot at IROS 2023. | Image: Evan Ackerman

Disney Imagineering, the entertainment giant’s research and development department, has a knack for creating technologically advanced robots like this hyperrealistic Na’vi shaman at Disney World. But its latest development might be its most adorable creation to date.

At the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Detroit last week, Disney unveiled a new, nameless bipedal robot that can walk (okay, more like waddle) unassisted and remain balanced, even when shoved, navigating difficult terrain, or having a literal rug pulled out from beneath it.

The robot is mostly 3D printed and was developed by a team from Disney Research in Zurich in less than a year, led by research scientist Moritz Bächer. “Most roboticists are…

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