VIDEO: Imagineers Test BD-1 Style ROAMING DROIDS in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland

Katie Francis

Updated on:

VIDEO: Imagineers Test BD-1 Style ROAMING DROIDS in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland

Katie Francis

Updated on:

VIDEO: Imagineers Test BD-1 Style ROAMING DROIDS in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland

BD Droids have come to explore Black Spire Outpost at Disneyland.

The most commonly known BD droid is BD-1, Cal Kestis’ droid companion from the “Jedi Fallen Order” video game series. Other BD droids have been seen in the franchise, including working for Peli Motto in “The Book of Boba Fett.”

BD Droid Playtest

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The droids are “in training.”

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There are three BD units. Cast Members were calling them by their colors: orange, green, and blue.

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They went to visit their friends outside Droid Depot.

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They walk and can turn their flashlights on and off.

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Watch them in action in our video below.

Disney Research Team’s Child-Size Bipedal Walking Robot

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Earlier this week, the Disney Research Team unveiled a new child-size walking robot during a presentation at the 2023 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Detroit. The robot, which is the same as the BD unit that was “training” in Disneyland today, is related to the patent Disney recently filed for a bipedal robot with different walking styles.

The test robot was built using mostly 3D printed materials, with modular hardware and actuators to allow for evolution in its design. Its head can look up, down, around, and tilt; its legs have five degrees of movement, along with hip joins to keep it balanced while in motion.

The robot also utilizes a reinforcement-learning system, which “relies on simulation to combine and balance the vision of an animator with robust robotic motions.” This allows the robot to handle anything it encounters in its environment, while still emoting.

Roaming Droid Plans Scrapped

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Originally, interactive, roaming droids were promised to appear in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, though that project never came to fruition.

According to sources, Disney decided that the lands would be too crowded in the opening weeks and months at Disneyland and Walt Disney World to have the droids attempt to roll through the streets of Batuu without fail or incident. And now, four years after both lands have opened, there are still no regular roaming droids in either land.

In December 2019, an article in the Orange Country Register revealed that Walt Disney Imagineering had no plans to use autonomous character technology in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and that all exploratory tests were just that — tests.

Droid Tests Over the Years

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Disney has tested autonomous roaming droids several times over the years, including J4-K3 (“Jake”) in 2017 and R2-D2 in 2020.

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In the case of R2, the astromech droid was flanked by two handlers, and required the help of a “friend” to control his movements. Previously, the droid was confined to the interior of the Droid Depot shop.

Watch our videos of Jake and R2-D2 roaming around Disneyland below:

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