Two renowned technology universities will do research and development of computer animation, robotics and autonomous characters in new labs funded by The Walt Disney Co. Disney will make a five year commitment to finance a director and a team of investigators at the labs at Carnegie Mellon University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. The move strengthens Disney’s commitment to research across all its business divisions, said Ed Catmull, president, Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. “Creating the next generation of sophisticated technologies requires long-term vision and collaboration with world-class innovators,” Catmull said. The research will be done for Parks & Resorts division, Disney Media Networks, ESPN, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Disney Interactive Media Group and Pixar Animation Studios. The first project at Carnegie Mellon involves developing methods for people to interact with autonomous characters, either virtual or robotic while the Swiss Federal Institute will perfect traditional animation and 3D computer animation.