Intel flies 250 drones above Las Vegas' Bellagio casino

Intel flies 250 drones above Las Vegas' Bellagio casino

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich staged the 100 Shooting Star mini-drone light show at his opening keynote speech at CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.

The Shooting Stars are the same drones that Intel sent skyward for last year's Super Bowl half-time show, featuring Lady Gaga. A single pilot can fly up to 100 of them at once.

The light shows are the first instance that coordinated drones have flown over Las Vegas Boulevard. Instead of using GPS to guide and synchronize the drone fleet's movements, Intel used a new location detection system developed in-house, as GPS isn't reliable enough indoors to risk a faulty presentation. Intel said the software allows for complex show design in weeks rather than months. The drones are custom-built for entertainment purposes and feature a lightweight structure and emit more than 4 billion color combinations.

The new indoor flight record follows Intel's own outdoor record of 500 drones, set in 2016 in Germany.


Intel says drones equipped with number-crunching AI programs could spped up the process thanks to real-time data analysis that may "find unexpected insights that the driver can use to improve". The record has since been broken by the Chinese drone company Ehang with 1,000 drones during the Chinese Lantern Festival in 2017.

If you're heading to CES, you haven't missed it: the show will take place twice a day until Thursday.

Audiences will experience the drones lighting up the sky while the fountains dance below to a version of the song "Stargazing" by Kygo.

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