Did you know that Disney Research has dedicated labs around the world that are focused on developing innovations that can further the goals of the Disney Company? Lab locations include Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Zurich. The scientists and researchers are working in areas as such as computer science, robotics, materials research, and behavioral science.
Occasionally a story comes out about the work of Disney Research. It sometimes seems off the wall, but is always fascinating.
A Better Balloon
One problem that Disney Research is working to solve is creating balloons shaped like characters, such as animals. When a designer creates a mold that the hope will look like a certain animal, it changes into oddly morphed shapes when inflated due to how the rubber stretches.
Disney is designing a computer program that will allow designers to create the ultimate shape of the balloon they would like to see when the balloon is ultimately inflated, and it will calculate the shape needed for the balloon mold, taking into account how rubber distorts when inflated.
This video from Disney Research shows the work to account for deformation in rubber as it expands when inflated.