Drone display

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"Drone100" performed by Ars Electronica Futurelab, for Intel, in 2015

A drone display is the use of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), often quadcopters, flying in a coordinated fashion for public display. They are usually equipped with LEDs, and the display held at night. The first Drone Display was presented in 2012 in Linz/Austria, where the Ars Electronica Futurelab introduced Spaxels for the first time. The displays may be for entertainment, where the drones may use flocking or swarming behaviour.[1] The drones may also be coordinated to produce images. Using this emerging technology, displays have been employed for advertising purposes as well.

Intel has produced the Shooting Star, a type of drone used in light shows.[2] They were used during the 2018 Winter Olympics, a Super Bowl halftime show in 2017, and a 2018 4th of July celebration.[3]

Drone light shows differ from fireworks displays in that drones are reusable, and do not produce air and noise pollution.[3] However, drone displays cannot take place during rain or strong winds.[4]

List of drone displays[edit]

  • September 2012 - 49 LED-Equipped UAVs, called SPAXELS (short for "Space Elements") have been shown at this world premiere by Ars Electronica Futurelab
  • March 2013 - 50 SPAXELS have been used to perfrom the Movie Premiere "Startrek, Into Darkness" next to Tower Bridge in London.
  • August 2013 - 30 SPAXELS have been used to perform the opening of the new campus at QUT, Brisbane / Australia.
  • November 2015 - 100 SPAXELS were used for the first Guinness World Record "Drone100" by Ars Electronica Futurelab for Intel.
  • November 2016 - Five hundred drones were used in Krailling, Germany, a Guinness World Record.
  • 2017 - Three hundred drones performed during a Lady Gaga song in the Super Bowl LI halftime show.
  • 2017 - At the Fortune Global Forum in China, 1,180 drones performed.
  • September 2017 - To mark the release of the home version of the Wonder Woman film, 300 drones displayed an enormous "W" in the night sky above Los Angeles.[5]
  • December 2017 - A swarm of 300 drones performed at Art Basel in Miami Beach.[6]
  • 2018 - During the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, 1,218 drones performed, breaking the previous world record.[7]
  • June 2018 - One hundred drones performed in Newcastle, England, making shapes to music at the opening of the Great Exhibition of the North.[8]
  • July 2018 - Intel celebrates 50th anniversary with 2018 simultaneous drones over facility in Folsom, California, for Guinness world record.[9] Guinness credited Intel with flying 2066 simultaneous drones.[10]
  • January 2019 - Two hundred drones deployed the World's first New Year's Countdown set to fireworks and music for the New Year Celebrations on Al Marjan Island.[11]
  • July 2019 - Two hundred and fifty drones performed at the opening show of the 24th World Scout Jamboree.[12]
  • October 2019 - Two hundred drones presented the new Peugeot 208 above Paris.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Swarm of drones illuminates the night sky". 17 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Intel Celebrates LGBTQ Pride 2018 with Drone Light Show - Intel Newsroom".
  3. ^ a b "A Fourth of July Drone Show Helps Military Families With Special Needs".
  4. ^ "Lighted drone show sparkles and wows crowd at EAA AirVenture".
  5. ^ Ciaccia, Chris (19 September 2017). "Drones put on stunning 'Wonder Woman' display".
  6. ^ "Dutch artists fly 300-drone "starlings" swarm in Miami". 14 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Inside the Olympics Opening Ceremony World-Record Drone Show". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  8. ^ "Swarm of drones perform at the opening of the Great Exhibition of the North". Dezeen.com. 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  9. ^ "Intel Breaks Guinness World Records Title for Drone Light Shows in Celebration of 50th Anniversary". News Byte. Intel Corporation. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  10. ^ "Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  11. ^ Wallace, Emily (28 February 2019). "New Year Drone Show Celebrations". Skymagic.
  12. ^ "Opening Ceremony Drones". New World 19, LLC. 29 July 2019.
  13. ^ "La Nouvelle Peugeot208 se dévoile dans le ciel de Paris avec un show de drones inédit en France". Peugeot France, Twitter. 6 October 2019.