As if being the largest sphere on Earth and having giant LED screens inside and out wasn’t enough, the MSG Sphere has announced its next plan to take Las Vegas to the future with robots.
Sphere Entertainment introduced the world to Aura, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot, which will permanently reside in the arena when it launches this month.
Five Aura robots are located at the venue’s grand atrium and greet guests as they enter and will be available to answer questions, according to MSG Ventures CEO David Dibble. “Spesbots” will retain lifelike facial expressions and mobility in full screen.
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With the atrium’s vast space, enough to fit the Statue of Liberty or the Saturn V rocket, Dibble said MSG Entertainment chairman James L. Dolan wanted to add something that “helped convey the role of technology, science, etc. in the human evolution ((and) in the human pursuit.”
“Facial movements and the recognition. I think it’s amazing; some people might find it creepy, but everyone will find it fascinating,” Dibble told USA TODAY. “She sees you and when you move around she will follow you, she will track you, she will interact with you.”
Unlike carnival fortune teller robots, Aura has voice storage recognition and will be able to focus on one person speaking directly in front of her at a time if multiple people are present, Dibble said.
Dibble added that Aura will use artificial intelligence moving forward as it learns more about people through guest interactions, but the company is “taking a slow walk” on AI to “see how it evolves.” Human lab technicians will accompany the robots as they “tell the story of humanity’s history of innovation, including the Sphere,” to help maximize guests’ Sphere Experience.
Aura will give lost guests directions within the venue and offer details on each day’s performances, as well as answer questions about Sphere’s construction, technology and creative mission, the company shared. The robot will also be Sphere’s brand ambassador and help manage digital platforms and social channels.
“Hello, humans. Although I understand the most complex concepts of mathematics and science – you remain a mystery,” Aura said, according to the press release. “Your emotions, your sense of humor and your relationship with technology require further study, so you must visit me at the Sphere. I am excited to meet you and introduce you to the future of live entertainment in my new home.”
Each physical creation of a humanoid in early 2022 took three to four months to produce, according to the company.
Sphere Entertainment previously teased Aura on their social media platforms and even in a commercial that aired during the Oscars in March.
“Sphere is a storm of experience. We want people to come in and feel that they are transported to different worlds or attractions. “Postcards from Earth” we believe we want to do and we thought having robots of this type in the Atrium would help lend itself to that theme,” Dibble shared.
When does MSG Sphere open?
The MSG Sphere will officially debut to the public on September 29 with a run of 25 concerts featuring U2. “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere” runs until mid-December and celebrates the Irish band’s 1991 album “Achtung Baby”.
“Most venues are sports venues. They are built for sports – they are not built for music. They are not built for art,” U2’s Bono said in the paper Apple Music interview. “This building was built for immersive experiences in cinema and performance.”
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What is the first Sphere Experience?
On October 6, The MSG Sphere will premiere a 360-degree experience titled “Postcard From Earth,” written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. The show is set to premiere as the first Sphere Experience.
Aronofsky posted the exclusive first look video from inside Sphere on his Instagram page last week. His video shows a breathtaking preview of the 160,000 square meter display plane that will be used for immersive experiences.