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Disney thinks it could turn drones into flying TV screens and puppet masters


Disney has never lagged in animatronics or high technology for its shows and theme parks — theyre more or less tiny, high-tech surveillance dystopias with classic rides, exorbitantly expensive food, and all your favorite TV and movie characters from childhood. Each of the patents outlines uses for synchronized swarms of tiny quadcopters or multicopters, which could either supplement or replace its existing light shows, fireworks displays, and parade balloons. The first two patents cover different methods of producing light shows, either with large, flexible screens lifted by small remote-controlled craft or swarms of drones that are each fitted with a light and act as flixels or floating pixels. In one, the screens could be large projection surfaces made of mesh that would allow wind to pass through, or they could actually produce their own images: Disneys application suggests loosely woven strips of LEDs.

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