Disney recently filed a patent application for soft body robots (US patent 20170095925 entitled “soft body robot for physical interaction with humans”) that could be used instead of humans to greet people in Disney’s theme parks. The robots would wear Disney character costumes and would move and interact like the animated character they were representing. According to the patent application the soft body robots would be made up of fluid or air and could feel pressure to either react to a hug from a child or avoid a collision.
Whilst Disney may save money on employment costs by using robots instead of people as their Disney character greeters they would need to be aware of health and safety issues and fully test the new robots. Whilst this patent seems to indicate an interesting development it does not mean the robots will ever make it into production and utilisation within Disneys theme parks.
More information on Disney’s soft body robot patent application can be found here: http://bit.ly/2oTIoue