Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The flixels are coming; the flixels are coming!

Posted on 08/27/14 by Frank Tobe

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the Walt Disney Company filed for 3 patents involving flying entertainment robots, a growing segment in the emerging service robotics industry.

One of those patents involves a multi-drone system flying projection screens for nighttime displays, hence the Disney Imagineer word creation for "floating pixels, flixels."

Earlier we reported that Robotic Arts, a Las Vegas designer and integrator of robots used for entertainment purposes, was working with Royal Caribbean International, a large cruise ship company, to robotically position projection screens in a theater to give special effects.

The 2nd patent application involves positioning the flexible projection screens within a specific air space, in effect, the software/piloting side of the mobile displays. Both patents could be seen as enabling a high-tech digital fireworks show, or some other type of show, without the pyrotechnics, or with some combination of the two processes.

The 3rd patent would use multiple drones tethered to balloons or super-large puppets to make them move and walk as the drones control the puppets limbs from the air instead of the present method of Disney workers walking alongside and pulling strings to make the puppets move.

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About the author: Frank Tobe

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report. After selling his business and retiring from 25+ years as a provider of computer direct marketing and consulting to the Democratic National Committee, major presidential and other campaigns and initiatives, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching and investing in robotics. In 2013 he co-founded Robo-stox™ LLC (renamed to ROBO Global) which developed a tracking index for the robotics industry: the ROBO Global™ Robotics & Automation Index.

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