Monday, December 29, 2014

A Ballooning Robopocalypse: How DARPA is Inflated Baymax of Big Hero 6 and Bringing on the Robopocalypse

If your kids enjoyed the balloon-like robot Baymax of “Big Hero 6” over the holidays you can thank, in part, the brain-trust that is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for helping fund the inspiration.

DARPA has been funding research into “soft” robots under its Maximum Mobility Manipulation – MP3 – program, and it was an inflatable robotic arm spied by one of the Disney film’s directors that inspired Baymax, the healthcare companion, defense officials said.

Don Hall told Moviefone in July that he was visiting the robotics lab at Carnegie Mellon University in 2011 when he saw the inflatable vinyl arm being developed as a nurse’s or doctor’s assistant.

“This particular researcher went into this long pitch but the minute he showed me that inflatable arm I knew we had our huggable robot,” Hall told Moviefone.

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