Real-life robots may soon be roaming Disneyland and interacting with human beings including children. Walt Disney Co. has been working on creating its own set of robots for a time now and it seems to be closer than ever to making that dream possible.
The company filed a patent last Thursday with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a "soft body robot for physical interaction with humans". Disney is in the process of developing a "humanoid robot" that is designed to have reduced collision impacts while interacting with people partly by making it soft and durable. A diagram of the patent shows the upper body of the robot which includes a robot controller with a joint control module. Another image shows what the outer portion of the robot will look like and it strikingly resembles the body of Baymax from the animated film "Big Hero 6".
Disney has supposedly been working on soft-body robots since "Big Hero 6" was released in 2014. The main reason why the iconic company has yet to unveil a robot in the three years since the project was started is that it wants to make sure that it will pose no threats to the safety of people, especially children. As Investopedia stressed, a Disney robot which inadvertently hurts a child is the stuff PR nightmares are made.
According to CNN, Disney has already made prototypes of their robots. One prototype, in particular, is described as a small, toy-sized humanoid with a soft outer covering. The said prototype was made using 3D printing.
Advancements in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things (IoT) have led to some quarters worrying about the possible repercussions. Even today's most brilliant minds see a future in which robots have taken jobs away from people. If Disney succeeds with in making humanoid robots with soft bodies, there is a possibility that such creations will be employed in its amusement parks in place of humans.