The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics curtain-raiser drone show was a world record with 1,218 drones: Report

While the world gazed in awe at the spectacular curtain-raiser at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Intel's drone team was hard at work to ensure that all of those 1,218 drones move according to plan.

The Intel drone light show team produces the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony drone light show, featuring Intel Shooting Star drones. Intel is providing drone technology at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

The Intel drone light show team produces the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony. Intel Corporation

A report by Wired, sheds light on the drone show, that was no normal feat, but a record-breaking attempt that show hundreds of drones running on a preset path as programmed by animators. Intel set a Guinness World Records title for the “most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously.”

The show was handled by Intel's Shooting Star platform which enabled hundreds of foot-long drones to move along an invisible path, that made it feel like art.

While previous attempts have been simple animations, the Pyeongchang show was different because it involved complex animations like a movement of a snowboarder, the interlocking rings and careful programming using the power of a billions of colour combinations possible by the LED lamps under each of those drones.

The report reveals that the animation team actually used a photo of a real snowboarder in action to get the perfect outline of the character in the sky.

Kicking off the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, viewers from around the globe were treated to a record-breaking light show during the opening ceremony. Intel is providing drone technology at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Kicking off the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, viewers from around the globe were treated to a record-breaking light show during the opening ceremony. Intel Corporation

Oddly, as explained by the experts of Intel's drone team, the complexity of putting up such a show is the same whether its 1,218 drones or just 300 of them. This is because every drone works as a pixel in a 3D space, filling up the black void of the night sky.

The Intel drone light show team produces the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony drone light show, featuring Intel Shooting Star drones. Intel is providing drone technology at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

The Intel drone light show team produces the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony drone light show, featuring Intel Shooting Star drones. Intel Corporation

Every drone also operates independently using a central computer for commands instead of relying the position of the drone next to it.

The only limit that remains is the 20 minute flight time, that all thanks to the current lithium-ion battery technology.

If you were excited about the drone show, the report hints that Intel has plenty more such shows lined up for the rest of week. So stay tuned to those broadcasts!


Updated Date: Feb 10, 2018 14:46 PM