Record-breaking drone performance to illuminate Sydney Harbour

Following its inaugural flight in Hamburg, Germany, Intel’s world-record-holding drone performance will make its live public debut in Australia. An illuminating display incorporating a hundred dancing drones will grace Sydney Harbour for five nights from June 8 to 12, 2016.

Billed ‘Drone 100,’ the bespoke choreographed performance will form part of Vivid Sydney, an outdoor lighting festival celebrating immersive projections and light installations. The colourful formations of the drones will be accompanied by the sound of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony performed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

For the performance, engineers have created software allowing the drones to follow flight paths, turn on and off lights, and move in coordination with one another to dramatic orchestra music. Each of the hundred drones will be controlled by one main pilot.

This is the first time the Drone 100 performance will take place over water, in front of a live audience, following its performance last November at a football field in Hamburg. The performance achieved the Guinness World Record for the most number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying simultaneously.

“With drones quickly emerging as an important computing platform of the future, Drone 100 exemplifies what it means to reinvent experiences with new technology,” said Anil Nanduri, general manager of unmanned aviation systems at Intel’s Perceptual Computing Group. He added: “We hope to inspire the imagination of Vivid Sydney festivalgoers and highlight the future potential of drone technology.”

Although a somewhat controversial new technology, drones are increasingly being used at visitor attractions around the world, with Japan hosting a live performance at Mount Fuji incorporating illuminated drones and Shamisen music earlier this year. Pilots working on Drone 100 have expressed how they want to use performances to highlight how drones can be used create beauty and socially meaningful experiences.

Each 7-minute performance will take place each night at 7.55pm, weather permitting. Details on how to secure tickets to the performance are available via Intel’s Drone 100 Facebook page.