Disney seeks patent for a 'humanoid robot' that can play a character

Can you fall in love with a robot?
Can you fall in love with a robot?

Could costumed robots one day roam the streets of Walt Disney World?

A new patent application from Disney (DIS) suggests it's something the company has considered.

The document says Disney is developing robots, including "humanoid robots," that have been "adapted for soft contact and/or interaction with a human."

"To physically interact with children," the filing says, "the inventors understood that the robot should be soft and durable."

Related: Bob Iger extends contract at Disney

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An image in the patent filing diagrams a robot's upper body.
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This image shows roughly what the robot's torso would look like with its "soft" encasing.

The patent application says Disney has already created a "small, toy-sized" human-looking prototype, which was made via 3D printing and encased in soft material. And it was likely based on a famed Disney character.

"This robot's style and other motions...were modeled after a given animated character (e.g., a character from an animated film or television show)," the patent application says.

Disney declined to comment on the patent, and there's no word on when or if the company will actually put the robots to work at its parks.

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