Disney Wants Drone Patents So Puppets Can Fly Around In Air Shows

If the idea of hot air balloon creatures causes you to tremble — all those huge, leering smiles floating above like some kind of slow-moving demons just biding their creepy time — you might not want to think about puppets gamboling around in the sky controlled by drones. That’s exactly the future Disney is envisioning with three drone-related patents it’s working on.

On the other hand, if you love giant marionettes flying through the sky attached to blimps, then you’re in luck: Walt Disney filed for three patents it says will change its air shows forever, turning from fireworks and light shows to aerial movie screens blasting big images, with giant, flying characters buzzing around, reports Reuters.

The patents are for what Disney calls aerial display systems, featuring pixels that float in the air, projection screens in the sky and pre-programmed drones that would run the whole thing and prevent crashes.

“This is a significant improvement over prior flying characters, which typically were provided in the form of parade or other blimps/balloons filled with hot air or other gases and that had little and/or awkward articulation of any movable parts,” the company said in its patent application.

Disney will have to wait alongside all the other companies trying to use commercial drones in businesses, while the Federal Aviation Administration figures out exactly what kinds of rules drones will have to follow.

Personally, I’m terrified. The animatronic characters that move on their own are bad enough.

Disney seeks drone-related air show patents [Reuters]