Intel’s ‘Shooting Star’ Drones Break World Record With Amazing Light Show

Intel’s ‘Shooting Star’ Drones Break World Record With Amazing Light Show

Hey, if Canon can get into the satellite game, there’s nothing really stopping Intel from making its own drones. In fact, Intel has previously impressed with its flying robot technology, demoing 100 of the little dudes in this year’s Vivid Sydney. Now it’s one-upped itself by synchronising 500 drones to create the most controlled “fireworks” display ever.

According to Intel’s Anil Nanduri, the company recently set a new record for “The Most UAVs Airborne Simultaneously”. Germany was host to the attempt, which involved a fleet of Intel’s brand new “Shooting Star” drones. The drones, which weight a mere 280g, come with a set of configurable LEDs — red, green, blue and white.

They can stay in the air for 20 minutes and have a maximum range of 1.5km — more than enough to put on a spectacular show, as you can see in the video above.

What makes the drones particularly special isn’t so much the hardware, but the software, as Intel’s fact sheet explains:

Intel’s proprietary algorithims can automate the animation creation process by using an image and quickly calculating the number of drones needed, determining where drones should be placed and formulating the fastest path to create the image in the sky. Previously, it would take animators much longer to manually determine these calculations.

OK, so an army of drones might not have the explosive entertainment value of fireworks, but I can imagine many, many situations where they’re more practical, cheaper and well, less dangerous.

[Intel, via ARN]