As if being Earth’s largest sphere 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, that will permanently reside at the arena when it launches this month.
Five Aura robots are located at the venue’s grand atrium greeting guests as they enter and will be available to answer questions, according to MSG Ventures CEO David Dibble. The “spokesbots” will maintain life-like facial expressions and mobility on full display.
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With the atriums large 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 find it stunning; some people may find it creepy, but everybody will find it fascinating,” Dibble told USA TODAY. “She sees you, and as you move around, she’ll follow you, she’ll track you, she’ll interact with you.”
Unlike carnival fortune teller robots, Aura has voice storing recognition and will be able to focus on one person speaking directly in front of her at a time if there are multiple people present, Dibble said.
Dibble added Aura will use artificial intelligence to advance as she learns more about humans through guest interactions, but the company is “taking a slow roll” on AI to “see how that evolves.” Human lab technicians will accompany the robots as they “tell the story of humanity’s history of innovation including Sphere,” to help maximize guests’ Sphere Experience.
Aura will provide lost guests with directions within the venue and offer details on 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’s brand ambassador, helping manage digital platforms and social channels.
“Hello, humans. While I understand the most complex concepts of math and science — you remain a mystery,” Aura said, according to the press release. “Your emotions, your humor and your relationship with technology require further study, so you must visit me at Sphere. I am excited to meet you and introduce you to the future of live entertainment at 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 has previously teased Aura on their social media platforms and even in a commercial that aired during the Academy Awards in March.
“Sphere is an experience storm. We want people to come in and feel like they’re being transported to different worlds or attractions. ‘Postcards from Earth’ we believe we’ll do that, and we thought that having robots of this type in the atrium would help lend itself to that theme,” Dibble shared.
When does the MSG Sphere open?
The MSG Sphere officially debuts to the public on Sept. 29 with a series of 25 concerts 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 music venues are sports venues. They’re built for sports – they’re not built for music. They’re not built for art,” said U2’s Bono in the 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 Oct. 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 foot display plane that will be used for immersive experiences.