Special airbags could protect Disney drones like giant bubble wrap

Disney's drone airbag

[Editor’s Note: Disney plans on using drones in light displays.]

This post originally appeared on http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/brinkmann-on-business/os-disney-drone-airbag-20161117-story.html.

Disney is seeking patents for a unique new safety feature for its aerial drone light displays, according to a new patent application filed Thursday by Disney Enterprises.

An airbag has been designed to deploy around the drone, like giant bubble-wrap, if it malfunctions or if sensors detect an imminent collision with another object, the patent says.

Two airbags, on the bottom and top of each drone, would “engulf the entire frame structure and propulsion mechanism… to engulf the hard, sharp and spinning components of the UAV to reduce the effect of impact,” the patent says.

Basically, the airbags would become a bubble surround the entire drone and its propellers. The airbags would also “slow acceleration” in the event of a freefall, the patent says.

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