Grammy award-winning artist Drake performed his new songs Elevate and Look Alive alongside autonomous light-show drones in New York at Madison Square Garden. Verity, a Swedish company that specializes in synchronized indoor drone light shows, used 88 micro UAVS on stage with the rapper to create flying waves and a drone swarm cloud. Footage of Drake with Verity drones flying in the background can be seen in this YouTube video:
In a Verity press release, Raffaello D’Andrea, founder of Verity and co-founder of Amazon Robotics, said unlike many other show drones, Verity’s drones are operated solely by the Drake tour staff and perform their choreographies autonomously. “People often describe technologies they’ve never seen before as ‘magic’. This is also how people talk about our drones when they see them live for the first time. By bringing robotics and AI to live events, we are creating magic. It’s spectacular to see a swarm of drones performing a perfectly synchronized aerial ballet without a single drone pilot in sight. Of course, what’s powering this performance is advanced technology, but when you sit in the audience, all you see is magic.”
Verity’s Lucie micro drone is the company’s flagship model, and it is equipped with red, green, blue and white LEDs that work in harmony with other drones to create intricate patterns and designs. Weighing in at only 50 grams and featuring a body design that encases the propellers, Lucie was built to be lightweight to ensure safety when flying above performing artist like Drake. Each Lucie drone is rated to fly up to 3 minutes.
It takes up to one hour to charge a drone, so Verity created a charging station rack that can charge up to 40 Lucies at once.
The heart of Lucie is Kedge, an indoor positioning system designed to allow the UAVs to perform without cameras. CNET described Kedge as “a small satellite indoors that maps out a room as if it were a GPS.”
Photo credit: CNET. Four buttons were used to operate the drone swarm at Drake’s concert.