Intel to fly, control 300 drones above downtown Singapore on NDP

The drones will be controlled by Intel and create animation sequences and images of Singaporean map in the night sky.


For the event that all Singaporeans are waiting with bated breath, the Singapore National Day is here. Tonight the sky above downtown Singapore will be illuminated with 300 drones moving through the clouds in perfect formation. The futuristic light show will commemorate the country's 52nd birthday celebration National Day Parade. The organizers have tapped Intel to provide this entire drone lighting segment.

The LED-lit drones will be coordinated and produce animation sequences and to create sparkly logos and images like the Singapore map in the sky.

The event is so important, that Intel's global drone chief, Anil Nanduri, is flying in to make sure that it all takes off successfully.

Nanduri told Mashable, while speaking about the event, that Intel's New Technology Group has come a long way and worked very hard to develop and improve its light show drone system, dubbed Shooting Star.

"There's considerably more operational complexity in handling a 300 drone fleet, compared with 100 drones in a show," he said.

The segment is very crucial and quite difficult in nature. The drones will be flying close to each other and it's of utmost importance that they are automated, so that, they know their places against the other. The system needs to be precise and discrete enough to control a large swarm across a bigger expanse of airspace. The drones will take off with one pilot controlling them all.

"It's like juggling balls in your hand," Nanduri explained. "You may be able to juggle three, but if you juggle nine, you may have to throw them higher and faster to get more time," while being more precise in how you throw the next one.

However, this won't be the first time for Intel to create a 300 drone show, as the tech behemoth has just done that at Coachella this year. Add to that, last year, the Intel team had also made a Guinness World Record with a 500 drone spectacle in Germany. Here is a look at the Intel's 500 Drone Light Show:

Still, there is a chance of the entire show getting canceled. Last month, Intel's fleet of drones could not fly due to the loss of GPS signals, during one of the parade rehearsals. Nanduri has informed that the GPS signal issues were beyond Intel's control; however, he declined to give any further details about the problem. This means that Intel may not be able to fly the drones tonight if the same problem persists.

This article was first published on August 9, 2017