Intel managed to set a Guinness record for flying drones. The tech giant put up a spectacular display of drone technology, by flying 100 of the miniature UAVs that were rhythmically synchronized with Beethoven's 5th symphony. The video of the formation managed to enthrall the assembled crowd during CES keynote.
A hypnotic formation of 100 drones that lit up the night sky and put up a dazzling performance of lights has earned Intel Corporation (USA) a Guinness World Record. The 100 remote-controlled quadcopter drones put up the choreographed show, while speakers blasted classical music, more notably, world-famous Beethoven's popular 5th symphony. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich chose to open the 2016 CES technology trade show in Las Vegas with a keynote that featured the video footage of the 100 drones lighting up the sky.
Specifically, Intel has earned the Guinness title for "Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Airborne Simultaneously." Intel released the footage of the world record drone swarm for the first time during its recent keynote, but the actual performance took place last year at Flugplatz Ahrenlohe, Tornesch, Germany, reported Digital Trends. The Guinness World Records committee confirmed that an official adjudicator, Pravin Patel, was present at the performance to verify record and congratulate the technology company.
Intel approached the Ars Electronica Futurelab, a center for multidisciplinary research and development in Austria, for the project. The project was dubbed "Drone 100" for obvious reasons. However, the performance was certainly path-breaking as it involved controlling the 100 drones simultaneously, while they hovered overhead, moving with the music. The drones even flew in fireworks-inspired formation and the bright and multi-colored LED lights flashed to complete the illusion. The drones flew in sync with the music, simulating a Fourth of July fireworks display.
Krzanich said he is confident that the application of drone technology could actually replace real fireworks someday. Needless to say, a "fireworks" display by drones could be a lot greener and cleaner. Synchronized fireworks generate a lot of smoke that pollutes the environment. With just electricity to consume, the carbon emissions from such shows would be negligible.
The 100 drones flight was meant to showcase the advancements in drone technology Intel has achieved, as well as the potential of the UAVs. Incidentally, the entire lot of 100 drones was controlled by a single operator from the ground using a cluster of PCs running Intel software, reported AUX TV.
Intel has been surging ahead in the field of UAVs and had frequently demoed its new obstacle-aware consumer drones. The company is betting big on these miniature flying machines and their seemingly unlimited capabilities. Intel recently invested $60 million in Yuneec, a well-known company that makes drones. Moreover, Intel bought Ascending Technologies, a German-based company that has made some serious improvements in drone technology.
While Intel may have managed to bag a Guinness World Record for most number of UAVs in flight, it is not the only one to successfully pull off such a stunt. Last year, a team of researchers from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, had flown 50 drones simultaneously. While the drones that Intel flew had sophisticated components, the ones launched by the researchers were made by hobbyists. The custom-made drones had regular off-the-shelf circuitry, which was coupled with standard, commercially available Wi-Fi boards. Despite the assembled hardware, the researchers managed a 50-drone swarm that was controlled by a single operator over standard WiFi connectivity.
Drone technology is very promising, but the American government is increasingly worried about these UAVs threatening commercial aircraft. Fearing rising number of drones and these UAVs nearly missing airplanes, Obama's administration has mandated all drone pilots to register their drones.
[Image via YouTube Screen Grab]