You might have heard the saying, “life imitates art.” And though Disney is now veering into Westworld territory with their latest patent for humanoid robots, we’ll reserve using that phrase until the inevitable uprising that follows.
Disney recently filed paperwork with the US Patent and Trademark Office that indicates they’re working on “soft body robot for physical interaction with humans.”
The filing includes details about the technology and how it will work because, well, it is a patent filing. But it also includes some of their ideas about its applications. Seems like they're getting in on that Westworld money.
It mentions that they built a working prototype of their model, a smaller version, based on one of their many animated characters in their vast library of IPs.
Diagrams included with the filing seem to indicate that their smaller, test version was based on a popular Disney character, but by the looks of it it’s kind of hard to determine who that might be: both Baymax and Winnie the Pooh could fit the build.
“To physically interact with children, the inventors understood that the robot should be soft and durable,” the filing says.
The obvious thought behind this, based on their descriptions, would be to use these characters in their Disney Parks.
This is the first step in the rise of the machines, as detailed in the documented war between SkyNet and the human race in the Terminator films. So long as we follow laws of robotics when creating our future labor force, maybe us regular folk will have a fighting chance.
OK, maybe the future isn’t so grim. Unless you’re a cast member at Disneyland or Disney World, then your days are numbered until automation, sadly, comes for you too.
Check out the gallery for images from the patent to see what the robot prototype looks like.