Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Disney planning soft-body robots for human interaction

In the future, people from New Jersey planning a trip to a Disney resort might experience interactions with soft and touchable robots. The filing for a patent in the United States by Disney Enterprises Inc. indicates that the company has designed a 3D-printed soft-body robot designed to interact physically with visitors.

The patent proposal submitted by Disney stated that the robots would engage in interactions with children and adults. They appear to be intended for use at the company's stores and entertainment parks.

The company maintains a robotics research department and has numerous projects in the works. The mission to create robots capable of interacting with people in complex live-action scenarios guides the robot designers. For the time being, though, humans in costumes will continue to entertain visitors to Disney properties. Disney has not provided a timeline for deploying its robots in real-world settings.

Companies of all sizes and even individuals use the patent process to declare ownership of new designs and technologies. A person who wants to know more about methods for legally protecting the use and distribution of intellectual property could consult with an attorney who practices patent law. One could gain information about how to protect ideas and inventions from infringement. An attorney could explain the types of patents available and recommend which one to use. An investigation of existing patents could be conducted by an attorney to see if the person's idea possesses unique qualities that could qualify it for legal protection. During the filing process, an attorney could provide legal guidance as the person answers questions on the application.

Source: Fox News, "Disney files patents to bring humanoid robots to park", April 13, 2017

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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