Drone light show scrapped after logistical challenges at Olympics opening ceremony

Winter Olympics 2018: Day two medal count

Intel has planned to launch 300 zones during the opening ceremony as part of a light show but the plan was scrapped.

The drone show was prepared by Intel and its Shooting Star drone technology that allows fleets of drones to be programmed, assembled and operated to create unique, choreographed images. Everything is managed from a central computer system, which coordinates the drones on the fly based on things like individual battery life and GPS signal.

A record-setting 1,218 drones shot into the sky and traveled to a nearby ski slope, first taking on the shape of a moving snowboarder and later rearranging themselves into the iconic interlocking five Olympic rings.

"The planning was very intense, and we had to send teams on the ground very early", Evans told USA TODAY. "We knew we'd need to understand the wind - it's very windy up here, and we had to understand the impact of the (cold) temperature".




"The Olympics are a time when the sports and entertainment industries are buzzing with record-setting performances, so it was the flawless stage for Intel Shooting Star drones and our team to set their own kind of record", said Intel's Natalie Cheung in a press statement.

The record-breaking segment shown at the ceremony was actually pre-recorded, and featured a total of 1,218 drones flying together in sync, more than ever before.

That's a Guinness World Record for the most unmanned drones flown simultaneously, beating the previous record of 500 in Germany in 2016. Each drone has onboard LED lights that light up in 4 billion color combinations to create any shape and color combination possible. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said Saturday that the drones were not deployed Friday night because of an "impromptu logistical change". "Not unlike the athletes competing in the events, we continue to push to innovate and develop the drone technologies that inspire people all over the world".

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