The Magic Kingdom Developing an Air Force


Not surprisingly, the folks at Disney Research have found a way to introduce a little fun into their work. The team recently tapped into the promise of drone technology to potentially help with maintenance work around their theme parks. Dubbed the PaintCopter, it does exactly what the name would suggest.

By applying paint without the need for ladders or scaffolding, the unmanned aerial craft hopes to save time and improve worker safety. The biggest difference between this unit and traditional drones is that it remains tethered to the ground via a power cord and a tube supplying the paint. These modifications keep the drone light in case it does crash, and ensures it can stay airborne until the job is complete.

Disney Researchers also made the unit autonomous by outfitting it with cameras that can map out the area to be painted before it starts. This data is used to program the drone with details about the paint application, such as defining differences between a general layering of fresh paint and more detailed lines.

Potential applications could reside within their parks, or as a stand-alone commercial product. Because Disney is obviously in need of new revenue streams.

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