Speaker 1: So Disney has this impressive robotic Spiderman, its Slingshot 65 feet into the air over and over again every single day. And it happens at the Avengers campus in Disney, California, adventure park. We got a behind the scenes look at the engineering magic that went into this Marvel superhero show. Here are seven things you never knew about Disney's stunt trying Spiderman.
Speaker 1: [00:00:30] Stunts is a word coined by Disney to describe technology that uses a robot as a stunt double. That way a robot can perform heroic feats that maybe to dangerous for a human to do. Slingshotting robots around is a bit of new territory for Disney to have fun with the illusion. The robot is only a small part of the Spider-Man show in the park. Guests also watch a human actor before the robotic stunt double has its moment in the spotlight. It took more than 10 prototypes [00:01:00] to get to the stunt Spiderman that is seen today. Now some parts were built in days and others took months. Walt Disney, imaginary research scientists, Morgan Pope, and Tony dokey gave us an up close look at the prototypes they built and the story of how it came together. So here are seven little known secrets about the stunt Spiderman. The robot does have a name. It's Tom, as in Tom Holland, the actor who plays Spiderman in [00:01:30] the Marvel movies. Now Mr. Holland has a role in the pre-show for the Spiderman ride that's at the park. The ride is called web slingers. And when Mr. Holland was at the campus doing voiceover work for the ride, he that did the imaginary lab to check out the robotic stunt double that shares his name.
Speaker 2: We asked him, uh, if he wouldn't mind signing our robots, uh, in a sense sort of giving them his blessing. And he was really great about it. Super gracious, uh, super, super gracious, uh, really fun guy. And he [00:02:00] just loved it. So we've actually taken that signature and uh, we've embossed it into all the other 3d printed chess plates we have.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So I guess you could say all the bots have a touch of Tom Holland with them. And if you were wondering that second signature that's Kevin Figgy producer and president of Marvel studios, but these bots didn't start out looking human in the beginning, it was all just a brick and a R head. The first pieces created for this project needed to answer a few questions. And the most important question was, [00:02:30] is it possible to create a robot that could do stunts? That's how Morgan Pope and Tony Doe's work came together. Tony was working on these automatons, which were not electronic. These were simple models to test movement and yes, he put a raccoon head on the body, but no we're told it didn't have anything to do with guardians of the galaxy. At the same time, Morgan was working on this electronic brick that has weights inside that can shift and move around.
Speaker 1: And that lets it change how fast it spins and where it lands. [00:03:00] Then the mission came to try to put these ideas together to make something that could move while being thrown across a room. So it looks alive in a sense by giving it action. Several prototypes came together. The first one looks like a piece of wood with a joint, but it actually has the same sensors as the brick from there. It was a matter of solving problems, adding electricity, exploring the different joint configurations, making it look human, deciding how to power it, throwing it through the air again [00:03:30] and again and again. And you know, learning a few lessons along the way. One of those lessons is about elbows. The final design does not have more elbows turns out. You can make a very convincing Spiderman without having working elbow joints.
Speaker 3: This is also the robot where we learned, we didn't need elbows. He originally had an elbow joint here. Um, but we ended up blocking it off because we didn't need it. We didn't notice it. You start doing [00:04:00] more interesting things. You move one arm and not the other and get some of that like asymmetric motion. That's really weird and beautiful.
Speaker 1: And that right there is the key to the whole illusion because Spider-Man needs to be awkward. Peter Parker is a teenager that has no clue what he's doing. He's making it up as he goes. So the perfect Spider-Man is something that doesn't move.
Speaker 2: One of the creative directors, Dan fields said, Hey, you [00:04:30] guys seem to have all these, uh, Spiderman, animations down. He's looking really great with the leg display. You know, some of these other things that we were doing with him, but he brought it to our, that the character of Spiderman is just a teenage kid. And he's somewhat flawed in that he isn't necessarily the master of his abilities and his talents, especially in a new stark suit, for example. So could we do an animation that looks like he's going through the air [00:05:00] out of troll and uh, what, what made that so challenging is that robots are great at doing beautiful precise movements, smooth, but persistent. Yeah. But making them look like they're actually out of control was a lot harder than we thought, right? So you had to spend some serious time actually dialing, dialing that in. So the look of fear in a robot's yeah. Uh, mind feels natural and not, uh, repetitive. Yeah.
Speaker 3: Speaking
Speaker 1: [00:05:30] Of things going wrong, when you decide to make a giant robot fall from the air every day for months, Something's gonna break to account for this. The stunt Tron Spiderman prototypes were from quite early on made to be broken.
Speaker 3: We built them to be robust and to be able to take that kind of beating. But we also built them intentionally with places where we knew that this [00:06:00] could break. And if it's going to break, we'll make it easy to fix or easy to replace those two design ideas go all the way back to very early prototypes. It was easier to just make something that you could switch out instead of trying to beef it up and beef it up and beef it up until it was indestructible.
Speaker 1: Now, as you're building and programming a realistic Spiderman, you have to ask yourself what makes Spiderman look like Spiderman. When he's flying that radioactive spider bite turned him into a master Acrobat. So he's very nimble [00:06:30] and he has these cool iconic poses as he bends his legs in awesome ways. And as the Disney team was having the robot move around in the air with various poses and bends, they noticed it was beating itself up. You see the face of this prototype, how it's all scratched and banged up. You may think it's because of all the falls it took from heavy testing. No,
Speaker 2: I want wanna say we threw this at least a thousand times. [00:07:00] Yeah. Uh, before we retired it and went to the next prototype, the, the reason why the face looks as, uh, scarred as it does is not because it hit the ground. It's because this had so much range of motion, right? It needed itself in the face. That's right.
Speaker 4: It could get There.
Speaker 2: So, so we learned some things right with this. Uh, we designed that out in, uh, in our next prototype, [00:07:30] right.
Speaker 1: But much like the comic book hero and was able to handle a few blows just fine. Now of course we have to talk about how Spiderman gets his power because with great power comes great responsibility. No, I mean how the robot gets its power. It does not run on typical rechargeable batteries. The time this robot is moving in the air is very short. So it uses something to store and release energy very quickly, super capacitors. This kind of battery does not rely on chemical [00:08:00] reactions like the lithium ion in your phone or one of these
Speaker 2: We realized we didn't need to carry the weight of batteries. The animations over such a short period of time. It's under four seconds. Basically
Speaker 3: The super caps are a fun technology to use here because the, they can take and deliver lots of current super rapidly. Why usually Don use them as often, cuz they don't have a super high energy storage capacity. So you can't put, you know, if, if it's like, it's like a little tiny gas tank, but you can pull a lot of energy out of it [00:08:30] very quickly. We needed him to be doing very energetic things while he was in the air, but we didn't need to have him do it for a long time. So it was a fun use of the, of that technology, which is, is a little bit unusual.
Speaker 1: You may hear about super capacitors. When we talk about the future of electric vehicles, Spiderman, Spiderman does whatever an electric car can. So there you have it. Seven amazing facts for the amazing stunt trying Spiderman at Disney, California adventure park. [00:09:00] And if you're craving more behind the scenes goodies on the stunt, trying spider check out our other video, we show you what it takes to become a Disney Imagineer that gets to build robots for Disney and what it was like to build this one, if you like this kind of content from our channel, be sure to give it a thumbs up to let us know that you want more of this. And please tell me in the comments, what other robots you would like to learn more about in future videos? They could be robots with elbows without elbows. I'm not picky.