Flying quadcopters join Cirque du Soleil

AUTHOR: Inavate

When it comes to live events and staging, AV professionals sometimes need to be creative when offering solutions to ensure that show goes on as intended. Soon they may even need to start accounting for quadcopters in their plans and designs. Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich and Verity Studios have partnered together and developed a film that shows 10 quadcopters and a human artist all performing together. The performance is titled SPARKED and utilizes no CGI, wires or visual effects.

Raffaello D'Andrea, professor at ETH Zurich, his team have been researching flying machines using algorithms. They provided the control for the quadcopters in order for the performance to be made a reality. Welby Altidor, executive creative director of creations at Cirque du Soleil was the one who envisioned using lampshades to add a different visual component to the performance.

The Flying Arena at ETH Zurich, a space for those working on autonomous flight, was used as the staging ground to shoot the film. A precise motion capture system, wireless communication network and custom software was leverage to make the performance possible.

AV professionals already have their hands full dealing with the systems for lighting, audio, visuals and control when it comes to live events. If the quadcopters catch on among the entertainment industry, they might just need to start working out how to integrate flying machines into their setups.