Disney Patents Mobile Robot Locker to Carry Guests’ Items at Theme Parks
The Walt Disney Company has filed a patent for a “Robotic Sherpa,” described as a mobile locker allowing guests to access their stored items whenever they want without having to carry them.
The patent shows a robot with cameras that would help it navigate crowds and a mobile app guests would use to recall and lock their mobile storage unit. The storage compartment would be detachable, so it can be moved to different mobile units if need be.
“The storage compartment can be coupled either the same or a different mobility unit,” the patent reads. “The mobile lockers can be recalled by a customer to either the customer’s location or to designated locations at the venue. The lockers can include any one of multiple locking mechanisms.”
Lockers are currently available at the front of each Disney theme park, but this isn’t as convenient as a locker that follows you around or comes when you call. These robotic lockers would be great for guests who need to bring a lot of things to the parks, but don’t necessarily need those things during the entire visit. The patent lists examples of packed lunches and umbrellas. Guests could also store their merchandise purchases in the lockers. The robots could be especially helpful for guests with young children and guests with some disabilities.
Orlando Business Journal spoke to John Gerner, managing director with Leisure Business Advisors, a theme park consultant.
“I can imagine a Disney focus group where moms said it would be really nice if they didn’t have to lug that shoulder bag all day in the park,” Gerner said. “And it’s a hassle to check that bag in at thrill rides. It would be great to have a secure place to put this shoulder bag that would follow them around the park, with enough room inside for things bought at gift shops and an umbrella. That would be worth paying extra money for. And now technology can do that, a win-win solution.”
How would you feel about using a mobile locker at Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort? Let us know in the comments.