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Universal Studios Files Patent For Drones In Theme Parks

Would Deliver Special Effects For Shows, Rides, Potentially Guests

Another theme park company has filed a U.S. Patent for the use of drone technology at its parks.

Universal City Studios, a sister division of Universal Parks & Resorts, had a patent published late last month called "Special Effects Techniques" that would explore the use of drones to enhance the experience at the parks' shows, rides, and possibly individual guests, according to a report from the Orlando Business Journal.

The patent document states that an "unmanned aerial vehicle, e.g., multicopter, is outfitted to provide a special effect or special effects, becoming an untethered special effects platform. The specials effects delivered by such a platform could include water effects, scent cannons, compressed air blasts, steam blasts, theatrical smoke or fog, snow, bubbles, confetti, flame effects, or directional speakers and other audio effects. In one embodiment, the untethered special effect vehicle may be used in conjunction with a live show. The placement or path of the special effect may be pre-choreographed or provided in real-time to correspond to the show."

The aircraft could be made to look like characters or objects that could interact with cast members during shows, according to the patent. They could also communicate with wearable technology used by guests to provide special effects such as a cooling mist spray or bubble effect. The guest would control the effects using a device worn by the guest.

There was no timeline given for when the technology might be deployed at Universal theme parks. They have also not received permission to use the aircraft from the FAA.

(Images from Universal patent)

FMI: www.uspto.gov

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