Two things in life are certain: One, you’re going to die. Two, Baby Yoda will forever dominate people’s hearts and the internet with his cuteness. Exhibit one billion (or somewhere around there): Grant Imahara’s new Baby Yoda bot, which is not only as cute as The Mandalorian’s Child, but also seamlessly emotive. Maybe Boston Dynamics can team up with Imahara like it did with Adam Savage—that way when the killer robot hordes come, at least they’ll be cute.
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Pleased to present my newest creation: a fully animatronic Baby Yoda. It’s been three months of hard work and countless revisions. He’s a personal project that I started in early December. I did all the mechanical design, programming, and 3D printed the molds. He’s currently running a continuous sequence, but soon I’ll be able to trigger specific moods and reactions, as well as incorporate sound. Special thanks to @saltiesthime for creating the silicone skin, painting and hand-punching the hair, @misslindsayxoxo for the coat and jumpsuit, and Project 842 for the incredible digital model. This is a not-for-profit project. We’ll be touring children’s hospitals and our first visit is scheduled for April!
Imahara, best known as one of the stars of the television series Mythbusters, posted video and pictures of his robotic Baby Yoda to Instagram and Twitter. He explained on Instagram that he’s spent three months building the diminutive animatronic as a not-for-profit project. In the post, Imahara adds that he and the animatronic Baby Yo’ will be touring children’s hospitals, which sounds admirable and entertaining. (Like some kind of amazing mix between Mr. Rogers and The White Rabbit Project.)
Imahara did the bulk of the work on his Baby Yoda, including the mechanical design, programming, and 3D printing of the molds, but he also gave a shoutout to a couple of other contributors who made the silicone skin and clothes. In terms of capabilities, the Baby Yoda bot can only present a programmed sequence of moods and reactions as of right now, but will be able to respond to environmental stimuli once it’s completed.
The best thing we’ve seen the Baby Yoda bot do so far is, of course, respond to a chicken nugget on Twitter. Just look at the excitement and joy on his face as he considers the mouthwatering tastiness of deep fried chicken chunks.
Pleased to present my newest creation: a fully animatronic Baby Yoda. Special thx to @SaltiestHime for silicone skin/paint/hair, @thelindsayjane for the coat and Project 842 for the digital model. Touring children’s hospitals starting in April! #BabyYoda #TheMandalorian #Starwars pic.twitter.com/XsDqGtEHt6— Grant Imahara (@grantimahara) March 6, 2020
While this is the first time we’ve seen Baby Yoda reproduced as a professional grade animatronic, this is only the tip of the Cloud City in terms of the amount of merch that’s come out recently based on the doe-eyed alien. From prints to dolls to overalls, Baby Yoda’s face is appearing on absolutely everything. He even has his own waffle maker.
As a side note, we’re going to go ahead and guess that Imahara’s animatronic Baby Yoda didn’t cost nearly as much as the Baby Yoda puppet used in the series, which had a price tag of roughly $5 million. Or this IRL Landspeeder, which cost a lot less. Or even this Star Wars protosaber, which cost even less than the Landspeeder. Look, what we’re saying is, Imahara should make his animatronic Yoda a purchasable retail product. Because if there’s one thing that’s definitely going to infect everyone in 2020, it’s more Baby Yoda fever.
What do you think about Grant Imahara’s animatronic Baby Yoda? Is this the coolest non-official take on the character you’ve seen, or have you witnessed a more impressive robotic take on the tiny green tot? And how badly do you want to see Adam Savage try his hand at building a Baby Yoda (perhaps utilizing some crazy Boston Dynamics tech)? Give us your thoughts in the comments!
Header Image: Lucasfilm