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 (short for "space elements") 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 4 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") shown at world premiere by Ars Electronica Futurelab[5]
  • March 2013 - 50 SPAXELS used to perform at the premiere of the film Star Trek Into Darkness next to Tower Bridge in London.
  • August 2013 - 30 SPAXELS used to perform the opening of the new campus at QUT, Brisbane / Australia.[6]
  • November 2015 - 100 SPAXELS used for the first Guinness World Record "Drone100" by Ars Electronica Futurelab for Intel.[7]
  • 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.[8]
  • December 2017 - A swarm of 300 drones performed at Art Basel in Miami Beach.[9]
  • 2018 - During the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, 1,218 drones performed, breaking the previous world record.[10]
  • June 2018 - One hundred drones performed in Newcastle, England, making shapes to music at the opening of the Great Exhibition of the North.[11]
  • July 2018 - Intel celebrates 50th anniversary with 2018 simultaneous drones over facility in Folsom, California, for Guinness world record.[12] Guinness credited Intel with flying 2066 simultaneous drones.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • July 2019 - Two hundred and fifty drones performed at the opening show of the 24th World Scout Jamboree.[15]
  • August 2019 - Five hundred drones performed at the 80 years of VDNH celebration in Moscow[16]
  • October 2019 - Two hundred drones presented the new Peugeot 208 above Paris.[17]
  • December 10, 2019 - 150 Drones were used to show a spectacular dazzling display for the ending ceremony of South Asian Games 2020, Nepal held at the Dasharath stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • June 2020 - A two hundred drone light show celebrated the 3rd edition of the San Giovanni Festival, breaking world record for simultaneous indoor drone flight.[18]
  • September 3, 2020 - Geoscan Group launched 2,198 drones at the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War II in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Record registered by the Record Book of Russia.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]
  • September 20, 2020 - 3,051 drones create spectacular light show in China and breaks Guinness World Record. New record set by Shenzhen Damoda Intelligent Control Technology Co., Ltd (China) in Zhuhai, Guangdong. [26]
  • November 7, 2020 - President-elect Joe Biden presidential victory speech featured a celebration drone light and firework show in Wilmington, Delaware.[27]
  • November 8, 2020 - 1,000 drones show at the «Wonder of Light» festival in Saint-Petersburg (Russia) performed by Geoscan Group.[28]

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. ^ 49 quadrocopter in outdoor-formation-flight / Ars Electronica Futurelab / Linz, Austria, retrieved 2020-06-17
  6. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-06-17.
  7. ^ The Making of Drone 100, retrieved 2020-06-17
  8. ^ Ciaccia, Chris (19 September 2017). "Drones put on stunning 'Wonder Woman' display".
  9. ^ "Dutch artists fly 300-drone "starlings" swarm in Miami". 14 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Inside the Olympics Opening Ceremony World-Record Drone Show". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  11. ^ "Swarm of drones perform at the opening of the Great Exhibition of the North". Dezeen.com. 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  12. ^ "Intel Breaks Guinness World Records Title for Drone Light Shows in Celebration of 50th Anniversary". News Byte. Intel Corporation. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  13. ^ "Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Wallace, Emily (28 February 2019). "New Year Drone Show Celebrations". Skymagic.
  15. ^ "Opening Ceremony Drones". New World 19, LLC. 29 July 2019.
  16. ^ https://www.1tv.ru/news/2019-08-04/369828-potryasayuschey_krasoty_shou_dronov_proshlo_na_vdnh_v_chest_80_letnego_yubileya_vystavki
  17. ^ "La Nouvelle Peugeot208 se dévoile dans le ciel de Paris avec un show de drones inédit en France". Peugeot France, Twitter. 6 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Dronisos breaks world record for indoor drone flight". Blooloop. Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  19. ^ "Наибольшее количество беспилотных летательных аппаратов, одновременно находящихся в воздухе в мире | Книга рекордов России". knigarekordovrossii.ru. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  20. ^ "На шоу дронов в Петербурге побит мировой рекорд по количеству беспилотников в небе". www.kommersant.ru (in Russian). 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  21. ^ "Рекорд-шоу дронов в рамках Года памяти и славы - Администрация Санкт-Петербурга". www.gov.spb.ru. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  22. ^ "В Петербурге шоу дронов попало в Книгу рекордов России". spb.aif.ru. 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  23. ^ "В небо над Петербургом в честь 75-летия Победы поднялись 2 тыс. дронов". ТАСС. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  24. ^ "Побит мировой рекорд: 2200 дронов выстроились в живые картины. Новости на "России 24"". vesti.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  25. ^ "В честь 75-й годовщины окончания Второй мировой войны в Санкт-Петербурге устроили уникальное шоу дронов. Новости. Первый канал" (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  26. ^ "3,051 drones create spectacular record-breaking light show in China". Guinness World Records.
  27. ^ "President-elect Biden takes to the sky with a drone light show". DroneDJ.
  28. ^ "Фестиваль «Чудо света» завершился красочным шоу дронов". Topspb.