Look up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… 100 small drones flying in formation to set a new world record for “Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously”!
Intel, one of the world’s largest computer chip manufacturers, recently teamed up with Ars Electronica Futurelab, an Austrian R&D facility that “focuses on the future at the nexus of art, technology and society,” to break the Guinness World Record for most unmanned drones airborne simultaneously. The result is nothing short of spectacular.
Although the successful attempt took place at an airport in Flugplatz Ahrenlohe, Tornesch, Germany in November, the footage of the event wasn’t revealed publicly until CES 2016 in Las Vegas. But the video shown wasn’t of any old backyard attempt at achieving the world’s largest flying robotic mega-swarm. Intel broke this record in style.
Controlled by a team of technicians and computers (using Intel chips, of course) from the ground, the 100-drone squadron lit up the night sky like digital fireworks in accordance with a live orchestral performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. And as the epic notes of the ubiquitous score progressed, the drones changed color and formation, taking on different shapes and patterns. The result resembled everything from a celestial Lite-Brite to a web of stimulated neuronal connections.
As for the deeper purpose behind the record-breaking show, Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, said at CES that the display shows that, “The past can be replaced by new creativity powered by drones,” and that, “This is what it means to reinvent experiences using new technology.” In other words, why use exploding fireworks that are loud and dangerous for our grand, sky-filling light shows when we can use drones that are relatively silent and… certainly not dangerous, no siree! (They’re watching me right now, somebody call Gene Hackman and get me underground ASAP!)
Now, the question is, what else can behemoth tech corporations do with swarms of quickly evolving flying robots? Nothing James Cameron would want to make a movie about hopefully.
What do you think about Intel’s Guinness World Record-breaking drone show? Is this the future of fireworks, or would you rather use drones to get a close-up of good ol’ fashioned wizz-wizz bang-bang exploders like this guy did? Let us know in the comments section below!
Images: Guinness World Records