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  • Ruby Noel

Drones: Bringing a New Definition to World Events

Those who know me know that I am not a sports fan; while I get excited on occasion when my partner gets pumped about a football team scoring a touchdown or dunking a winning goal, I could care less. When you mix my least favorite season with sporting, this is a negative double-whammy for yours truly. But there was an amazing aspect of this year’s 2018 Winter Games that caught my eye on social media that might just get me to change the channel and check out sporting events more from time to time.

The millions of people who tuned into the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Games witnessed a performance that shattered previous world records. If you were one of the ones who watched in awe as thousands of drones created animated shapes such as a moving snowboarder, a dove, and the classic Olympic rings, then you know there are very few words to describe the amazing performance conducted by a complicated set of drone piloting software.

Creating moving figures more than 300 feet in the air, the 2018 drone show that stole the hearts of viewers everywhere as well as the opening show for this year’s Winter Games. With more than 1,200 drones responsible for this show, it crushed previous world records as the largest swarm of synchronized drones in history. Talk about putting firework displays in their place!

All the drones that were involved in this spectacular light show were Intel Shooting Star drones, which are about the same weight as a volleyball. This is to ensure peace of mind as thousands of these guys swarm close together to create incredible light displays.

Thanks to sophisticated technology software, all 1,200+ drones are able to be controlled by computer systems. While this sounds easy, it is very challenging for software creators to get all the drones to fly in a synchronized fashion to make those jaw-dropping animated shapes. But only two drone pilots are necessary to make the inner-workings of these light shows happen!

Despite advancements in drone technology, these drones are only able to fly in particular weather conditions, which is why set back the drone show to another night of the Winter Games. The biggest weather condition is the extreme cold, since drones rely on batteries to operate. Pair the bitter cold with excessive wind and wind-chill factors and you have a recipe for drone-piloting disaster.

If you recall the 2017 Super Bowl half-time show where Lady Gaga shocked all of us, you will probably remember the American flag coming together behind her at the end of her performance; this was also created by synchronized drones!

With continued advancements in drone capabilities, you should expect to see more of these drone-created light shows throughout the world as they take the place of some firework displays and less-extraordinary light performances.

See the video below!

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