100 Drones Fly Simultaneously to Set New World Record

Technology company Intel recently set a new world record for the most drones to be airborne at the same time. The stunt was co-created by new media art institute Arcs Electronica, based in Linz, Austria. The feat took place in November 2015, when 100 drones were synchronized with a live orchestra in Germany. However, footage of the event was unveiled for the first time during Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Director of the Arcs Electronica Futurelab, Horst Hörtner, said it was the result of years of hard work. “Everything had come together—an idea that was crazy in the best sense of the word, a crew that brought tremendous zeal and long-term commitment to the task and, in collaboration with Intel, wanted to make the supposedly impossible a reality and went all out to achieve success,” he said.
Image credit: Intel Corporation
The Arcs Electronica Futurelab, a center for researching new forms of cyber art, began its world record journey in 2012, when it attempted to program large amounts of quadcopters to fly simultaneously and in formation. In September of that year, the team was able to light up the sky over the Danube River with 50 LED-equipped drones. Then in 2014, Intel came to Arcs Electronica with a concept called Drone 100. The technology company wanted to light up the night sky with a record-setting number of drones flying in formation. “Drone 100 was a crazy idea that came out of a hallway conversation inside Intel, and now it has become a reality. Working with Ars Electronica Futurelab, we were able to create a formation of 100 UAVs in the sky, creating amazing images and ending with the Intel logo,” said Anil Nanduri, GM of New Markets, Perceptual Computing, Intel.
Image credit: Intel Corporation
On November 4, 2015, a 15-person crew launched 100 LED-fitted drones over Ahrenlohe Airfield near Hamburg, Germany. Each drone weighed about 24.7 oz., and the entire fleet performed a seven minute choreographed routine, before creating an 820-ft. wide Intel Logo. An on-site adjudicator from the Guinness World Records attended the event to make it official: Intel in collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab now hold the world record in the category Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Airborne Simultaneously.