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 bring Las Vegas into 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 in the venue’s grand atrium and greet guests as they enter and will be available to answer questions, according to David Dibble, CEO of MSG Ventures. The “spokespersons” will maintain realistic facial expressions and mobility.
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With the large space of the atriums, enough to accommodate the Statue of Liberty or the Saturn V rocket, Dibble said MSG Entertainment President James L. Dolan wanted to add something that “helped convey the role of technology , science, etc. in human evolution (and) in human pursuit.
“The facial movements and the recognition. I find it mind-blowing; some people may find it scary, but everyone will find it fascinating,” Dibble told USA TODAY. “It sees you and as you move, it will follow you, it will stalk you, it will interact with you.”
Unlike carnival fortune-telling robots, Aura has voice recognition and will be able to focus on one person speaking directly in front of it at a time if there are multiple people present, Dibble said.
Dibble added that Aura will use artificial intelligence to advance as it learns more about humans through guest interactions, but the company is “moving slowly” on AI to “see how it evolves.” Human lab technicians will accompany the robots as they “tell the story of humanity’s innovation, including Sphere,” to help maximize guests’ Sphere experience.
Aura will provide lost guests with directions to the venue and offer details about each day’s performances as well as answer questions about the Sphere’s engineering, technology and creative mission, the company shared. The robot will also be the Sphere brand ambassador, helping to 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, humor, and relationship with technology require further study, so you need to visit me at Sphere. I’m 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 required three to four months of production, according to the company.
Sphere Entertainment has previously teased Aura on its social media platforms and even in an ad that aired during the Academy Awards ceremony in March.
“Sphere is a storm of experiences. We want people to walk in and feel like they’re transported to different worlds or attractions. We think we’re going to do that with ‘Postcards from Earth,’ and we thought that having robots like that in the atrium would help lend itself to that theme,” Dibble explained.
When does MSG Sphere open?
The MSG Sphere officially debuts to the public on September 29 with a 25-concert series featuring U2. “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere” will run through mid-December and celebrate the Irish band’s 1991 album “Achtung Baby.”
“Most concert halls are sports halls. They are made for sports, not music. They’re not built for art,” U2’s Bono said in the Apple Music interview. “This building was built for immersive film and performance experiences.”
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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 expected to be presented as the first Sphere experience.
Aronofsky posted the first exclusive Sphere video on his Instagram page last week. His video shows a breathtaking overview of the 160,000 square foot exhibition floor that will be used for immersive experiences.