Disney wants to stick projectors on drones and fly them in its parks

disney projector drone disneyland
Cmpsthailand/123RF
Disney is considering launching “projector drones” at its parks that would buzz about en masse, beaming images onto attached screens as part of dazzling night-time displays. Or at least, that’s the idea.

The concept, laid out by the entertainment giant in a patent granted this month, could see the modified flying machines used in aerial displays at Disney’s sites in California and Florida.

According to diagrams, the drone’s screen would be held parallel to the ground, with the projector beaming an image onto its rear surface via a reflector. The screen would have enough translucency to allow park visitors to see the projection, which could consist of both still and moving images.disney drone

To prevent unexpected wind gusts playing havoc with the screen and compromising the drone’s flying ability, the patent suggests the lightweight surface could be made from “a mesh sheet with a porosity allowing air to flow through.”

The filing explains how the drones could be used en masse for aerial-based entertainment “with floating or flying projection screens” showing changing imagery set to music.

Disney notes that up to now the kinds of visual effects achieved using drone technology have been limited, and so new methods such as its proposed projector drone could take aerial displays in a new direction. In its own words, it says its system aims to “provide a way of radically expanding the palette of the aerial display … to include all manner of imagery and effects.”

The filing also speaks of its projector drones opening “new frontiers for aerial advertising,” and says they could also be used for getting information to visitors quickly in an emergency situation.

Disney made it known earlier this year that drone technology presented new opportunities for the company when it applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for special permission to incorporate the machines into its entertainment program.

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