Connecting drones could pave the way for biggest light shows ever staged

Connecting drones could pave the way for biggest light shows ever staged
Swarms of drones can be connected together by a “flying blanket” that’s small enough to fit in a suitcase and has the power to create flying light shows of unprecedented size.

Design firm Carlo Rattti Associati (CRA) worked with drone company Flyfire to design the modular, scalable system for drone light shows and 3D scanning. Fleets of quadcopters can be connected before simultaneousConnecting drones could pave the way for biggest light shows ever staged take off, with the scalable system capable of handling formations of 10,000 drones.

 

The “flying blanket” is a semi-rigid structure that both mechanically and electrically connects drones together. Each blanket can hold up to 16 drones and doubles as their charging pad, ensuring that the entire system is quickly deployable. To take off, each quadcopter makes a 45-degree handle turn and spins out of the blanket. With the inverse movement, the drones lock back into the mesh and immediately begin to recharge. The blankets can be linked together to create ever-wider launching areas.

 

Connecting drones could pave the way for biggest light shows ever staged

Carlo Ratti, director of MIT Senseable City Lab and founder of CRA, said: “In the last few years, individual drones have become a common presence in everyday life. Working with Flyfire, we set out to explore the next challenge – how do we make drone swarms more attainable?

 

“With this project, we imagine a near future where drone swarms can be used for multiple purposes – from light shows to mapping buildings with 3D scanning to sensing air and water quality – in a scenario that we might describe as an ‘Internet of Flying Objects.’”

 

In 2018 Inavate editor Paul Milligan caught up with Carlo Ratti ahead of his ISE 2018 keynote speech. Ratti talks about how he has combined his expertise in architecture, design and engineering. He brings up themes of connection which he relates to the IoT… three years on and he’s creating the Internet of Flying Objects.

 








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