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Disney has applied for a patent to develop robots that can interact with humans.
Because these robots will mostly be interacting with children, they are designed to be soft and deformable. Nevertheless, a strong built-in material, which will function as a support, will be integrated into the robots for safety purposes.
The images included in the application show resemblance to Baymax, a character from the movie Big Hero 6. However, Disney did not confirm if the robot is patterned to a specific character.
The project’s feasibility remains up for confirmation. Also, Disney has yet to confirm if it will introduce these humanoid robots in its theme parks.
Jon Snoddy, Disney’s senior vice president for research and development, believes that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are essential in the business. He added that the robots would eventually need to learn how the human world operates. However, no confirmation was made if the robots are going to be controlled by humans or if they will operate autonomously.
Various industries such as healthcare and retail have used robots to improve the services they provide to their clients.
Dr. Julie Carpenter, an expert in human-robot social interaction, pointed out that emotional attachment is inevitable. However, it has advantages and disadvantages. Emotional attachment would mean trust and confidence both in the robot and the service offered by a company. On the other hand, a person who has become too attached could feel terrible loss when the robot malfunctions and becomes irreparable.