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World record quadrocopter swarm puts on impressive light show


September 4, 2012

The quadrocopters in the skies over Linz, Austria, as part of the annual Klangwolke (Photo: rubra)

The quadrocopters in the skies over Linz, Austria, as part of the annual Klangwolke (Photo: rubra)

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Many see small quadrocopters as the future of surveillance, aerial photography, warfare and even construction, but a new demonstration involving a world record-setting swarm of 50 quadrocopters has shown the aircraft can also pull off some pretty impressive dance moves.

Outdoing the efforts of the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab, the quadrocopter swarm put on a choreographed air show over the river Danube in Linz, Austria, as part of the annual Klangwolke (Cloud of Sound) open-air multimedia musical event that kicked off on September 1st.

The aerial display was put together by a team from Austria’s Ars Electronica Futurelab and Germany’s Ascending Technologies GmbH. The Ars Electronica team was responsible for creating the computerized choreography and equipping the standard model Hummingbird quadrocopters supplied by Ascending Technologies with special radio receivers and modified firmware. The vehicles were also equipped with LEDs to put on an eye-catching nighttime display.

With the theme of this year’s Klangwolke being how the world has become interconnected, from the discovery of electricity, to telecommunications, through to the invention of the internet, the quadrocopter swarm was intended to symbolize the virtual network and digital communities of our time.

Whatever the intent, the end result is pretty impressive. Check it out in the video below.

Source: Ars Electronica Futurelab

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Impressive indeed.

How many UFO sightings were phoned in that night?


That makes flying a kite with a light on it at night seem quaint.

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