Intel started with its new drone technology at the beginning of the year and by May it had put on its second Drone 100 light show in Palm Springs. Intel has ramped up its drone program and in October it unveiled the Falcon 8+ drone aimed at commercial applications. Today Intel has officially announced its next drone called the Intel Shooting Star Drone and it is made specifically for light shows.
Intel used a fleet of Shooting Star drones in Germany to set a world record for having the most UAVs in the air at the same time. In that record setting event there were 500 Shooting Star drones in the sky at on time, massively outdoing the 200 drones used in the Palm Springs light show. Having 500 drones in the air allowed Intel to grab the Guinness World Record for UAVs in the air at once.
The Shooting Star drone is the first drone made just for light shows and has a light-weight construction with “virtually limitless color combinations” according to Intel. Intel has also worked with the FAA to get a Part 107 Waiver to fly as a fleet with one pilot at night in the US. Intel says that it will be using the Shooting Star drones publicly soon.
The Shooting Star drone is a quadcopter with encased rotors. It measures 384 x 384 x 93mm and has a 6-inch rotor diameter. Maximum takeoff weight is 280g and flight time is up to 20 minutes. Maximum range is 1.5km. The drones can fly in wind speeds up to 10m/s and the maximum speed in GPS mode is 10 m/s with maximum light show airspeed of 3 m/s. The integrated LEDs can create over 4 billion color combinations using red, green, blue, and white LEDs. The special software interface allows the creation of a lightshow in days instead of weeks. Intel plans to expand the system to work with more drones in the future.
The Intel Shooting Star Mini drone is the little brother of the Shooting Star, best known for its appearances above the Super Bowl, the Sydney Opera House and Coachella – to name a few.
The mini version is the company’s first drone designed and built from the ground up for indoor light shows. With a more restrictive setting comes a focus on pairing safety with creativity. To do that, Intel has scaled the drone down, designed a lightweight structure and added propeller guards.
Despite the smaller size, the Shooting Star Mini can still create more than 4 billion color combinations.
The Shooting Star Mini is powered by Intel’s Indoor Location System, which has grown the potential of indoor entertainment by allowing the drones to maintain their position and navigate without using GPS.
Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, shows off a Shooting Star Mini drone during CES 2018. One hundred of the mini drones were later displayed in an indoor light show. (Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)
Intel has been setting records for a while in the light show space. Most notable are the World Records for flying 500 Shooting Star drones at the same time in Hamburg, Germany on October 7, 2016. We wouldn’t be surprised if there’s scope for larger indoor stunts planned for the future.