Nothing beats an aurora borealis display in the sky. However, on 4 November 2015, Intel in collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab came very close when they set a new Guinness World Record for the Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously.
Known as Drone 100, the amazing drone display lit up the night sky to the accompaniment of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony performed live during Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote on the opening day of CES 2016 technology tradeshow in Las Vegas, USA.
“The past can be replaced by new creativity powered by drones,” he told the CES audience. “This is what it means to reinvent experiences using new technology.”
Similarly, Horst Hörtner, Senior Director of Futurelab, wanted to show how drones can be used to create beauty and socially meaningful experiences. He sees people as naturally curious and filled with hope.
“It’s the only thing that can be created,” he said. “Everything else is already created. Hope and curiosity is the drive that helps you get things done that have never been done before,” he said.
And the drone “fireworks” display has really never been done before. Supervised on the ground and led by Martin Morth, each of the four pilots controlled 25 drones using PCs with Intel software. However, before the drones could be flown, engineers had to create a software that would allow the drones to follow flight paths (which created the geometrical designs and words), turn on and off lights and move succinctly with one another to dramatic orchestra music.
“We developed our own ground-controls software,” said Futurelab’s Andreas Jalsovec, who led the choreography and show design for Drone 100. “We just took technology and made art out of it.”
Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel was on hand to verify the new record and congratulate the technology company.
As Anil Nanduri of Intel said, this the dawn of a new era for UAVs.