Record-breaking drone show lights up Winter Olympics opening ceremony

11 February, 2018, 05:14 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Artists perform during the opening ceremony. REUTERS  Kai Pfaffenbach

While the scale of the Olympics drone show was unprecedented and surely magical to watch, the slightly less sexy fine print is that it was a prerecorded performance, mainly to avoid the harsh weather conditions expected during the opening ceremony.

Several hours before the start of the ceremony, Intel chief strategy officer Aicha Evans told USA TODAY that they planned to launch 300 drones during the tail-end of the ceremony.

If you were watching the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea yesterday then you might have noticed a swarm of Intel-made drones lighting up the night sky at various points - and those intelligent packs of drones broke a Guinness World Record along the way. 1,218 of them to be precise. This system allows large numbers of unmanned quadcopters to fly in a prescribed way. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said Saturday that the drones were not deployed Friday night because of an "impromptu logistical change".

One of those practice runs, in December, presumably involved the record-setting 1,218 drones.


Those attending the opening ceremony were still treated to a live drone performance, albeit a much smaller one using a fleet of 300. Each drone has onboard LED lights that light up in 4 billion color combinations to create any shape and color combination possible. "From flying 100 drones simultaneously in 2015, to 500 drones in 2016, and now more than 1,000 drones - the sky is the limit with entertaining through Intel drone light shows". The added numbers just increase the resolution and quality of the image.

Intel's drones can fly for around 20 minutes and of course, exterior factors, such as crosswinds and low temperatures can affect the overall flight time.

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