Never let it be said that China doesn’t know how to do things at scale!
Following the Super Bowl’s recent halftime show, which consisted of hundreds of swarming drones, the Chinese drone company EHang has upped the ante with an epic, record-setting drone light show — consisting of a whopping 1,000 quadcopters.
The so-called “Meteor Sky”performance was recently carried out in the densely populated city of Guangzhou to mark the Chinese Lantern Festival. If you’ve ever thought the use of unmanned aerial vehicles was limited to recording video and potentially one day delivering your Amazon packages, the spectacle of 1,000 drones changing color in synchronization with one another will change your mind forever.
According to EHang, the demonstration was a test to see whether drones may potentially represent an environmentally-friendly alternative to fireworks. Based on this performance, we certainly wouldn’t be against it — although you’d have to wonder about the necessary FAA clearances to fly this number of drones over so many people in the U.S.
The drones participating were all identical models of EHang’s GhostDrone 2.0, a mid-priced quadcopter best known for its 4K filming capabilities and first-person view VR goggles. Laying out all the drones for launch took up an area of 951 feet x 62 feet, and required a staff of thirty EHang engineers to orchestrate the display. Between choreographing and testing the spectacular show, these engineers spent thousands of hours making sure everything worked as well as possible.
Amazingly, no drones crashed into one another during the resulting flight — and they were each able to stay at least 5 feet apart throughout the performance.
Perhaps most impressive of all? The whole thing was controlled from just one single computer on the ground. Now that’s a time you don’t want your MacBook to crash…
- CEO takes ride in passenger drone to demonstrate that it’s safe
- Watch a hybrid drone break records by hovering for more than four hours
- Indoor fireworks? Intel broke records with 100-drone light show at CES
- Take to the skies with the best drones under $500
- Do more with your drone: 5 things you can do with a UAV (aside from taking pics)