Forget Fireworks: Intel Teases Drone-Based Light Shows
Every Independence Day, Americans heads to the nearest beach, park, or rooftop to watch a local fireworks display. But Intel has a different idea for next July.
The tech titan on Friday unveiled the Intel Shooting Star drone—its first unmanned aerial vehicle designed specifically for light shows.
«With this drone, we will be able to demonstrate that drone light shows can redefine entertainment and create amazing new experiences in the night sky,» Anil Nanduri, vice president of Intel’s New Technology Group, wrote in an announcement.
Each device weighs 280 grams (less than a volleyball), and is constructed with a flexible plastic-and-foam frame and protective cages over its propellers. Built-in LED lights allow for more than 4 billion color sequences, and the fleet of UAVs can fly for up to 20 minutes, creating choreographed images in the night sky.
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Intel’s software runs a fleet check prior to each flight to select the best drones based on battery life, GPS reception, and more. It then calculates the number of drones needed and determines where the quadcopters should be placed.
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«We believe drones are an important computing platform for the future and we are continuing to invest in technologies and companies that will enable us to provide the best computer, sensor, communications, and software integration for the growing drone ecosystem,» Nanduri said.
With that in mind, Intel acquired German flight-planning software maker MAVinci GmbH last week. In January, it also purchased Ascending Technologies, maker of the AscTec Falcon 8 system, and last month, Intel unveiled Falcon 8+, its first branded quadcopter intended for industrial inspection, surveying, and mapping. The ready-to-fly drone captures detailed images to detect and prevent damage to infrastructure.
In August, meanwhile, Intel tipped Project Aero, a platform on which developers can build any kind of UAV they can conceive. The playing card-sized device offers the storage, communications, and I/O capabilities needed for any drone.
Autor: Stephanie Mlot
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