If you thought Disney’s only reason for buying Lucasfilm was to make more Star Wars movies, you’re way off. The company is also currently in the process of converting parts of Disneyland and Walt Disney World into sprawling Star Wars-themed lands, and it’s already testing some of the new characters it’s designed to interact with guests.
Though the new Star Wars lands are still at least two years away from opening, YouTuber DAPs Magic spotted this new interactive droid called Jake being tested at the Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland. It’s not known if the droid is being controlled behind the scenes by an operator, but presumably it will have some level of autonomous capabilities to avoid crashing into visitors and other obstacles.
Jake also appears to be able to interact with the exhibits at the Launch Bay. When it rolls up to a control panel the droid beeps and bloops at the computer as its head moves about, which triggers lights and other interactive elements.
It’s nothing especially fancy yet, but it’s promising. Droids are a big part of the Star Wars experience, and Disney is obviously spending a lot of money to ensure its new exhibits provide the most authentic experience as possible to park guests. If you remember, eight years ago a full-sized version of Wall-E was spotted roaming the parks, so just imagine how far the robotics technology that powered that character has been improved. [YouTube via WDW News Today]