For generations, Disney‘s theme parks have been making the magic of their movies come alive for children from all over the world. Through rides, parades and interactive adventures, fans of all ages get to live their fairytale dreams. The company will even get involved if you’re truly committed to giving someone special the Disney princess treatment. You get your chance to meet your favourite characters in real life – provided that your character is human and that the theme park has access to an actor who resembles closely enough to get away with playing them on a daily basis.
If you were hoping to hang out with any of the more unusual characters – the aliens, the animals, the robots – your chances were somewhat more limited.
But perhaps not for long.
It has recently been reported that Disney has filed a patent for humanoid robots that may be able to bring even the most bizarre and outlandish characters into the real world, designed to be able to interact safely with fans of all ages, including children. To this end, the patent specifies that the robots will be “soft and durable”, filled with air and gas to make them plump and cuddly.
These plans are still in the very earliest of stages, so it is likely going to be a while before these robots are fully populating the theme parks. But we do already have an idea of what to expect, as the patent submission outlines a design for a toy-sized Baymax that has already been created using 3D printing technology.
It also includes these diagrams of what how a real life Baymax bot would look both inside and out:
As far as Disney’s options go, Baymax is undeniably a good starting point. He’s already a robot, so the final product doesn’t have to look like an actual human. He’s also soft, plump and inflated using gas and air, so there’s a good chance that the final piece will bear a convincing resemblance to the movie counterpart.
Things like convincingly human faces, muscles, movements and expressions can come later.
Although seeing them in the flesh, as it were, may still be a little while away, this is a very exciting step and – as long as the robots don’t go all Itchy and Scratchy Land on us – it’s something that will definitely be worth looking forward to.
Category: Cool Stuff