This post is a bit overdue as I saw the movie upon release but haven’t gotten around to putting my thoughts online until now. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and have any interest in happy robot movies, I highly recommend watching it. Not generally a fan of children’s movies, but a fan of giant inflatable mechanical sidekicks, this one gets my 2 thumbs up!
Big Hero 6 is about a kid (Hiro Hamada) who inherits Baymax from his older brother, a student at a prestigious college for advanced scientists and engineers. Baymax was inspired by Siddharth Sanana’s work with Prof. Chris Atkeson at CMU. When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6”.
Disney built a 55,000 CPU core rendering cluster with 400 TeraBytes of memory and 4PetaBytes of storage. The cluster, which would rank in the top-75 supercomputer list, allowed animators to give an average of 1.1 million render-hours per day. Baymax appears to be based loosely on technology created by Pneubotics, an offshoot of Otherlab!, a group who has applied expertise in computational design tools, simulation, and inflatable structures to making highly capable, very low-cost robots. Their compliant materials have strength-to-weight ratios far greater than those of structured steel and can be efficiently mass manufactured, lowering production costs. Seeing everything that is capable with inflatable robots I am looking forward to new technologies being brought to market in the coming months by companies such as Otherlab! and even iRobot. I’ll be sure to write more on the subject in the near future.