If you’ve been lucky enough to see a Cirque du Soleil show, you’re accustomed to seeing incredible feats of human strength, agility, and coordination. But you probably haven’t seen the same from a robot.
Cirque du Soleil has partnered with ETH Zurich and Verity Studios to show off the mathematical yet graceful precision of the quadcopter drone in a choreographed performance. We already knew that the little robots could collect data for scientists, track poachers, and even film movies, but with expert choreography, quadcopters can turn a simple machine shop into something magical.
Below, watch one tinkerer be transported to a whimsical world by an electric shock:
There’s no CGI in the video, no strings, and no gimmicks (though the sound is cut out to silence the 40 whirring rotors). That’s exactly why it’s so magical, I think. When great practical effects are deftly used in a production (Jurassic Park, Alien, The Thing, etc.), it elevates the whole performance and really draws the viewer into the scene. In this case, there’s a complicated algorithm spread between ten drones making it happen.
You can also watch a behind-the-scenes making of the video, where they show off other gorgeous drone adornments, here.
Who knew robots could be so graceful?