Maybe not entirely, but this display is still pretty amazing.  (Thanks, Ross!)

Watch Intel’s Drone 100, a magical and elaborate airborne music and light experience created by a fleet of 100 unmanned aerial vehicles.  The team created an outdoor flying drone light show synched to a live orchestra.

When all 100 light-equipped drones danced and painted 3D shapes and messages in sky above Hamburg in early November, 2015, a new record was born. Dubbed Drone 100, the spectacle set a Guinness World Record for most UAVs airborne simultaneously.  It also set a Guinness Record for multiple drones controlled by one pilot.  Four pilots controlled 25 drones each as they lifted off from a soccer field in Hamburg.

But before the drones could launch from the field, engineers created software that allowed the drones to follow flight paths, turn on and off lights and move succinctly with one another to dramatic orchestra music.

And wait!  More from Hamburg!  (Thanks, Mikell!  Thanks, Bloomberg!)

Deploy the Anti-Goose Drones! And More From the Future of Flying

What will those crazy kids think of next? Airbus persistently asks just that, soliciting students from around the world to submit ideas that can help make commercial air travel more efficient and sustainable someday.

The contest, which is held every other year, attracts a mix of students from engineering, business, finance, and the arts. The 2013 winning idea, from a team at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, proposed a baggage system that would load and unload aircraft cargo holds more efficiently with an air cushion akin to the technology of an air hockey table.  . . .

The 2015 contest, Airbus’s fourth, involved 518 teams with 3,700 students from 104 countries before it was winnowed to the five finalists. They are:

Good Vibrations: Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Airplane wings are dressed in a composite skin that harvests energy from natural vibrations or flex in the wings . . . to power auxiliary in-flight systems, such as lighting and entertainment. This reduces the plane’s energy footprint and might even be able to replace the entire power source for ground operations.

Drones Are for the Birds: University of Tokyo, Japan

A flock of unmanned aerial vehicles (psst: drones) guides birds away from airports . . . to a nearby area called Birdport . . .

After You: Northwestern Polytechnical University, China

This proposal applies motion-sensing technology from a gaming console to an aircraft guidance system for use when taxiing. The model uses infrared and visual information to warn the pilot and ground crew of high-risk obstacles. . . .

Trolley Trash: University of São Paulo, Brazil

The team’s trolley is designed to sort rubbish and recycling by compacting foils, paper, and plastic and draining off the residual fluid to reduce weight by up to 30 kilograms. That cuts fuel consumption and offers more galley space . . .

Brilliant Induction: City University London, UK

In-ground tarmac transmitters . . . transfer electrical power inductively to a receiver placed between the nose wheels . . . to power ground operations, reducing carbon emissions by half.

This much is for sure: it’s all about the nose wheels.



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