To ensure the show was ideal for the opening ceremony, the flight was pre-recorded in this case.
In fact, the tech giant launched 1,280 of its drones in December in Pyeongchang and pre-recorded the light show that aired on NBC's tape-delayed broadcast in the United States. Instead of having pilots, a computer system dubbed "Shooting Star" handles everything in the same way that PowerPoint handles what goes up on the display for your big presentation.
Viewers of the opening ceremony at the Olympics got a new view of the evolution of drones.
The synchronized drone show has gotten the public wondering about the mechanics behind the performance, which will be added to the Guinness World Records for the "most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously". The swarm will also be in action throughout the games during medal ceremonies, which will include animations of the appropriate sports, and Olympic-related logos including the familiar linked rings.
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Each of Intel's foam and plastic drones is equipped with LED lights that can create more than 4 billion color combos.
Wired reports that Intel made some minor adjustments to the drones' rotor cage design, allowing for more stability in the cold, windy climate. But the burst of drones that filled the sky Friday night-or early morning, depending on where in the world you watched-comprised four times as many fliers.
The technology firm claimed the record with a display of 1,218 drones, surpassing Intel's previous record of 500 drones flown simultaneously in Germany in 2016.
"It's in essence technology meeting art", says Anil Nanduri, general manager of Intel's drone group. Even though these little drones seem like they might be the flawless in-house drone toy, that's not what Intel intends for them.
For now, however, light show spectaculars seem like a fine way for Shooting Star drones to earn their keep.