Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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AIR NEW APPLICATIONS 42 unmanned systems inside   June/July 2017 path is and are configured to keep a distance of 1.5 meters at all times to avoid colliding. "We want to make sure our animation looks good for the audience but we also want to make sure the drones never go beyond our two layer geofence," Cheung said. "If a drone hits one geofence, it's redirected back to the original pathway. If a drone ever hits the sec- ond geofence, its motors are shut down so it can land safely." The UAS are made out of foam and the pro- pellers are encased in a prop cage—all to en- sure safety, Cheung said. An LED light is their only payload, but that's all these entertainment drones need. Cameras and other sensors would only decrease their f light time, which is about Above: Cirque du Soleil—PARAMOUR on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre, featuring flying machines by Verity Studio. Left: Raffaello D'Andrea, professor of control systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and founder of Verity Studios, demonstrates drone capabilities at a TED talk. trolling the drones, but on the software and the algorithms behind it. While the shows are now much easier to execute, they still come with their own set of challenges. Each site is different, Cheung said, so the team must conduct a site survey before they f ly. Intel drone f leets have entertained au- diences in several countries—and each country has its own regulations regarding UAS f light. Understanding and working within the regu- lations is key. It's also important for the team to understand where the audience is and how close they'll be to the f leet to ensure the drones are deployed at a safe distance. Before every show, which now can feature up to 300 drones, the Intel team spends time test- Drone swarms can play a large role in search and rescue efforts. To learn more about how UAS are used in these missions today, read Drones and First Responders: Help from Above at Search and Rescue ing the drones to make sure they're ready for the live performance, Cheung said. These rehears- als usually take place during the early morning hours, around 2 a.m. or so, to help ensure po- tential audience members don't accidently get a sneak peek of the show. During the rehearsals, the team checks for GPS quality and communi- cation back to the system controlling the dancing drones. They typically fly 10 to 15 UAS in a sim- ple animation to make sure what they see on the simulator is what audiences will see in real life. The drones are pre-programmed with the animation before the f light, Cheung said, and only need to communicate back to the control center. The UAS understand what their f light Photos courtesy of Verity Studio, Cirque du Soleil Theatrical, photo by Richard Termine, TED and Swiss Drones.

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