Disney showed us the inner workings of its Avatar robot and it’s just incredible

Back at the end of May, Disney opened an Avatar-themed area (Pandora: World of Avatar) within its Animal Kingdom park. Given that its only been open for a few weeks, most folks still havent been inside but if you do go, do yourself a favor and take the time to check out the Navi River Journey ride. The end of the ride features an animatronic Navi (Avatars blue humanoid species), and its easily one of the finest examples of animatronics ever built.

At our TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics event in Boston this afternoon, we got a look at whats going on inside.

When its all sealed up, the Navi Shaman looks like this:

But pull back the mask, and an incredible, beautifully complex array of robotics lays beneath:

Disney has been paving new ground with animatronics for decades now (The Tiki Rooms birds and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln namesake robo-president date back to 1963 and 1964, respectively), but the Navi Shaman takes things to a whole new level in terms of expressiveness, fluidity of motion and the ability to blow your mind.

Curious what the whole thing looks like when its all together and youre on the ride? Heres that:

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