Indoor fireworks? Intel broke records with 100-drone light show at CES


Intel broke world records with a 500-drone light show, but the company’s latest drone record involves fewer drones with a bigger challenge: Indoor flight. During Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, January 8, 100 drones created a light show on stage. The feat is on track to becoming a new Guinness World Record for the most drones flown indoors by a single pilot.

drone light show
The Intel Shooting Star Mini drone is the company’s first drone designed and built to enable indoor light show experiences. It is designed with a super-lightweight structure and propeller guards for safety. Its light source can create more than 4 billion color combinations designed for visually stunning aerial displays. (Credit: Intel Corporation) Intel

The show was put on by 100 Intel Shooting Star Minis, a smaller version of the drone that performed during last year’s Super Bowl LI halftime show and broke the 500-drone outdoor record. The Mini, Intel says, fits in the palm of your hand. Intel designed the mini quadcopter specifically with indoor flight in mind, downsizing the drone’s size while adding safety features, including propeller guards.

Indoor drone flight is difficult because of a lack of access to GPS, smaller spaces and of course, obstacles like walls and ceilings. Intel worked around those difficulties by creating a new system specifically allowing drones to be choreographed while avoiding obstacles, aptly named the Indoor Location System.

Using software, a single person can create a light show with a large fleet of the tiny drones. Intel said the software allows for complex show design in weeks rather than months. Each Shooting Star Mini carries a light that can create more than four billion color combinations.

The new indoor flight record follows Intel’s own outdoor record of 500 drones, set in 2016 in Germany. The previous record was 100 drones, which was also set by Intel. The record has since been broken by the Chinese drone company Ehang with 1,000 drones during the Chinese Lantern Festival in 2017.

This week, Intel is also powering the Las Vegas Strip’s first light show put on drones. Two-hundred and fifty drones were choreographed to Stargazing by Kygo, creating an aerial dance over the Fountains of Bellagio. The show continues with two performances every night through Thursday, January 11 during CES.

The Intel Shooting Star drone is now behind a number of light shows outside of those record-breaking events, including Disney Orlando. While not available for consumers, the system, designed specifically for light shows, appears to be expanding to more venues.

Product Review

Hue who? Nanoleaf Canvas brings a riot of color and vibrancy to the smart home

Fun and festive, Nanoleaf Canvas feature lighting adds personality and vibrancy to any room. Nanoleaf Canvas features squares that you can connect in any configuration you’d like. Sync to music, play games, or relax in soothing light.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Deals

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.