Intel's Drone Display at the PyeongChang Olympics, Pre-Recorded in December

1,218 drones broke record in December 1 photo
Photo: Youtube screenshot / Intel
On February 9 the start of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games took place in a rather desolate and snowless PyeongChang, 180 km (110 miles) east of Seoul, South Korea. The games in themselves have been eclipsed by several other events connected to them, but not part of the official show.
First, the ban imposed by the sanctioning body on 47 Russian athletes and coaches due to alleged state-sponsored doping at the games in Sochi in 2014. Then, there was the cyber-attack on the competition's website and the Pyeongchang Olympic stadium wifi network during the opening ceremony. And, finally, there is the presence of a North Korean delegation at the Olympics, one that turned the event into a political rather than sporting one.

Nevertheless, the opening ceremony was sumptuous, as always. And the plan was to make it even more so with the help of Intel and its Shooting Platform legion of drones.

The idea was simple. Use a record-breaking 1,218 drones to draw different messages in the skies above the Olympic stadium. And what a sight that would have been!

Unfortunately for the tech company, last-minute logistical challenges, as well as the opposition of the Olympic organizing committee, have led to the cancelation of those plans.

What then did the world see on TV screens during the opening ceremony? According to USA Today, a pre-recorded show, shot in December last year in PyeongChang and aired on NBC’s tape-delayed broadcast in the United States.

Still, the feat achieved by Intel in December is still record-breaking. According to the company, the number of drones flying at the same time represented the “most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously.

For the Winter Olympics, and at the request of the organizing committee, Intel plans to have 300 drones in the air each day. It is unclear whether the company will be able to live up to its promise.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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