UPDATE: Disney Seeks Permission to Use Drones for Nighttime Entertainment at Theme Parks


Disney Drone ProposalsBack in summer of 2014, Stitch Kingdom broke news that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts was working on an intricate system using controlled drones to supplement its nighttime entertainment, proposing to: use drones to control massive marionettes (such as an exampled Jack Skellington) and/or use drones to carry screens that could act as what they dubbed ‘flixels,’ or ‘floating pixels.’

In late October of 2015, Disney decided to move ahead with these plans by filing an exemption from the FAA under section 333 which governs the commercial use of drones. The application was published on December 31 and has not yet been answered by the FAA.

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WATCH: Disney Research’s Friendly Neighborhood VertiGo Robot Climbs Walls

Verti-Go by Disney ResearchDisney Research Zurich in partnership with ETH has debuted its newest robot, the VertiGo. With a control and drive mechanism comparable to the typical radio controlled car, one thing VertiGo can do is seamlessly transition from driving on the ground to driving on walls and back again. Although the robot makes use of a central carbon fibre baseplate in order to minimize its weight, a number of specialized parts are 3D printed.

In order to make the transition, the VertiGo features two propellers — the rear propeller applies thrust towards the wall, while the forward propeller thrusts upwards, causing the VertiGo to flip into position onto the wall. Although Disney Research has not yet demonstrated it, they claim that VertiGo can even theoretically traverse ceilings.

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‘Circle with Disney’ Helps Manage Internet and Device Usage for Families

Circle with DisneyCircle Media Inc. and Disney today announced the launch of ‘Circle with Disney,’ a new product that integrates with families’ Wi-Fi networks at home and provides parents with the ability to filter and control internet access for individual family members for all connected devices including smartphones, tablets, personal computers and gaming consoles. Each family member’s profile and settings can be customized based on age and parental preference. In addition, ‘Circle with Disney,’ can even limit internet access on devices connected to the network that belong to family guests.

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WATCH: Disney’s ‘Playmation’ Merges Marvel, Star Wars Wearable Tech with Toys and The Cloud

Disney Playmation Starter PackDisney Consumer Products today unveiled Playmation, a new form of the toys-to-life category that combines connected toys, wearable tech and cloud technology to provide updates as needed.

According to Disney, Playmation is the next step in the evolution of play, where digital gets physical and imagination becomes real. The groundbreaking system of toys and wearables uses smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroine of stories from across The Walt Disney Company. Playmation Marvel’s Avengers is the first of a series of systems in development, including Star Wars and Frozen. In Playmation Marvel’s Avengers, strap the high-tech Repulsor Gear onto your arm and join the Avengers in their fight to save Earth! As an Avenger recruit, your on-board intelligence JARVIS will guide you from your Gear as you accept missions from the Avengers and battle in exotic locations around the universe to save our planet—all from the comfort of your own home.

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WATCH: Disney Research’s BeachBot Has More Fun in the Sun Than You

Disney Research BeachBotAs evidenced by the screenshot from its introduction video — in which it is in mid-Nemo drawing form after completing Mickey Mouse — Disney Research’s BeachBot knows how to have fun when it comes to creating two-dimensional art on a difficult surface such as the beach.

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WATCH: ‘Lucid Dreams of Gabriel’ Experimental Short by Disney Research

It’s a tad beyond the expected release date of August, but Disney Research has now released its 10 1/2 minute long short, Lucid Dreams of Gabriel, which you can find embedded below. Because the film is shot at a frame rate of 120 fps, Disney Research advises watching it only at HD (720, 1080) resolution to get the full effect.

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Disney Research’s ‘FeelCraft’ Brings 4D Attractions to the Home

'FeelCraft' by Disney ResearchAlthough the fourth dimension is time, it hasn’t stopped amusement parks from hijacking the term as a way of saying they’ve plussed traditional 3D movies by adding a new ‘dimension’ of effects. Usually these effects involve dropping things on the audience such as cold water to simulate breaking glass (followed by warm water to simulate the blood from all the sliced skin), fog, bubbles and — most of all — haptic feedback right from the very seat the audience member is sitting in. Whether it’s mice running past your feet or bugs crawling under your butt, tactile feedback is big in the amusement park experience, especially when virtually anyone can bring the 3D experience home.

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WATCH: Disney Introduces Interactive Cakes to Fairytale Wedding Couples

Nearly four years ago, we first talked about a patented process being developed by Disney in order to make cakes appear to be interactive using projection mapping, a technique oft favored nowadays by Walt Disney Imagineering. But now it’s Disney Fairy Tale Weddings who have seen the projected light as they demonstrate in this newly released video offering a sample of what they can deliver couples at their Disney weddings.

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PATENT: Disney to Use Drones for Night-Time Entertainment

Drone controlled marionetteEveryone knows drones are where it’s at. Whether you’re looking to deliver packages to customers’ doorsteps, target and destroy someone from thousands of miles away or looking to entertain thousands of guests, you’ll need an army of drones.

Thanks to a series of recently published patent applications, we now have an idea of where Walt Disney Imagineering is headed with future plans for night-time entertainment to take place over lagoons (which are specifically mentioned in the applications), although the technology can be applied virtually anywhere.

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PATENT: Disney’s Plans to Make ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Safer

Dynamic Roll/Pitch Stabilizer for Use During Loading and Unloading of Small Passenger BoatsAfter highly (and not-so-highly) publicized events in which at Walt Disney World’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ both a man and a child suffered finger lacerations/partial loss and even going back to an incident in 2005 where a child lost part of his thumb on Disneyland’s ‘Storybook Land Canal Boats,’ a patent application has been published that hopes to reduce — if not eliminate — such injuries. The unfortunate aspect, however, is that the original filing date for the application, titled ‘Dynamic Roll/Pitch Stabilizer for Use During Loading and Unloading of Small Passenger Boats’ is February 12, 2013 — long before the recent ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ incidents.

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