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DRU-1: The lost Audio-Animatronic

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So I’m listening to the WDW Today podcast on my way to work, and they’re talking with Shawn Slater about an Audio-Animatronic dolphin that appeared at the Living Seas in Epcot for five days in 1999.  It’s hard to listen to a show like this, especially when I have to imagine what this dolphin looks like.  When I finally get home and watch this video, I’m just blown away.  The Dolphin Robotic Unit-1 (or DRU-1) is an amazing piece of technology.  I don’t want to spoil anything, so watch the video below to see what I mean:

See what I mean?  Slater said the reason this AA didn’t last long was basically logistics.  They didn’t have the resources and personnel they needed to keep it going very long.  Still, I wish this was a part of the parks.  I would have liked to experience this for the technology aspect alone.

Head on over to the WDW Today web site for the show notes on today’s show.  Also, be sure to visit Shawn Slater’s blog at

UPDATE: Shawn Slater posted a great entry on his blog about DRU-1.  It’s an insider’s perspective on an excellent piece of technology! Read “A New Kind of Animal-tronic”.


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