According to Disney fan site Stitch Kingdom, Walt Disney Imagineering – the company’s Disney’ design and development wunderkind – has applied for patents that will take their famed nighttime theme-park entertainment to Dumbo-like heights.
Disney applied for three patent applications the primary one dubbed “Aerial Display System with Floating Pixels.”
No supernatural fairies will be involved (sorry, Tinkerbelle) but Disney will be using drones that can project “fixels” (floating pixels) to perform a variety of shows over the bodies of water at their theme parks. Stitch Kingdom’s report explains:
“By using an army of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), each carrying a payload such as a projection screen and/or light diffuser, the UAVs are either able to act on downloaded scripts, be controlled by a master, or autonomously work together to deliver an interactive image in three dimensional space.”
The patent includes designs that would deploy drones to form a giant puppet that could move around as an interconnected whole.
Light-based showmanship is nothing new for drone technology. As DRONELIFE reported in June, Australian-based UAV company I-Drone developed a UAV that can beam media imagery – advertising, news, etc. – on to building walls.
The Projector Drone “is capable of 12 minutes of flight time, on board data storage and is outfitted with a 500 Lumens Projector. Features such as live-streaming, individual projector controls, and audio capabilities are being developed for the next iteration of the model.”
The company hopes to add audio, individual projector controls and live-streaming features to a future model.
“We are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what drones can do. We want to go beyond ‘eye-in the sky’ applications,” Project Manager Ryan Hamlet said. “Our ‘Projector Drone’ does not record the world around it. It broadcasts onto it.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
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