Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Thousands of drones used for light show during Olympics opening ceremony

Intel planned for an ornate light display involving drones at the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Friday, but the company had some trouble getting its show off the ground.

Like the drones that flew at Lady Gaga's Super Bowl halftime show, the record-breaking 1,218-drone flight wasn't live at the opening ceremony - it was pre-recorded in advance - although a smaller group of 300 drones did make a live appearance at the ceremony. It is noted that Intel simultaneously launched into the air 1218 controlled drones, which are lined up in the sky in the form of the Olympic rings and various other shapes.

"And while more drones does provide a broader canvas, it perhaps more importantly affords a better sense of depth". They followed up a show with 100 drones in Germany in 2015 with a performance featuring 500 of the bots the next year - obviously this tech is just getting smarter and smarter.

"During the Ceremony, POCOG made the decision to not go ahead with the show because there were too many spectators standing in the area where the live drone show was supposed to take place", according to a statement from the Olympic organizing committee, Recode reported.

Intel's robotic fireflies are quadcopters that weigh 12 ounces, or as much as a can of soda, and are equipped with an array of LED lights.

"A white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, yellow, black, green and red... is symbolic; it represents the five inhabited continents of the world, united by Olympism, while the six colors are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time", he said of the Olympic rings in 1931.

The drones are lightweight and are the only ones of their kind, built specifically for outdoor light shows, according to Intel. "Not unlike the athletes competing in the events, we continue to push to innovate and develop the drone technologies that inspire people all over the world".

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