AI News, Flying LampshadeBots Come Alive in Cirque du Soleil Performance

Flying LampshadeBots Come Alive in Cirque du Soleil Performance

ETH Zurich's Flying Machine Arena has spawned all kinds of mind blowing quadrotor tricks over the years, so it's not at all surprising that it's also spawned a spin-off performance company to take some of those tricks out into the world for the rest of us to enjoy.

Verity Studios is combining ETH Zurich's experience with precision flying robots with the wild imaginations of creatives like Cirquedu Soleil, starting with a short film called 'Sparked' featuring a swarm of quadrotors with lampshades on their heads.

While filming probably required many, many takes as well as a controlled environment with a motion-tracking system to precisely fly the quadrotors, noneof what you're seeing here is CGI: it's all real robots, doing real things, in real time, with a real human in the middle of it.

Some of what you're hearing here has certainly be modified, though: 10 quadrotors in close proximity sounds like a swarm of giant robot bees.

On one occasion, a mis-timed dolly motion led to a flying machine hovering just centimeters above the camera man, who continued with his work unfazed.


If these developing qualities can be combined, quadcopters would be capable of advanced autonomous missions that are currently not possible with other vehicles.[16] Some current programs include: Several camera-drone projects have turned into high-profile commercial failures: In July 2015, a video was posted on YouTube of an airborne quadcopter firing a pistol four times in a wooded area, sparking regulatory concerns.[31][32] Quadcopters are a useful tool for university researchers to test and evaluate new ideas in a number of different fields, including flight control theory, navigation, real time systems, and robotics.

The company claims that the quadrotor played a key role in a drug raid in Central America by providing visual surveillance of a drug trafficker's compound deep in the jungle (Aeryon has declined to name the exact country and provide other specific details).[46] After a recreational quadcopter (or 'drone') crashed on the White House lawn early in the morning of January 26, 2015,[47] the Secret Service began a series of test flights of such equipment in order to fashion a security protocol against hostile quadcopters.[48] During the Battle of Mosul it was reported that commercially available quadcopters and drones were being used by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as surveillance and weapons delivery platforms using improvised cradles to drop grenades and other explosives.[49] The ISIL drone facility became a target of Royal Air Force strike aircraft.[50] The largest use of quadcopters in the USA has been in the field of aerial imagery.

Quadcopter UAVs are suitable for this job because of their autonomous nature and huge cost savings.[16] Drones have also been used for light-painting photography.[52][53][54] In 2014 The Guardian reported that major media outlets have started to put serious effort into exploring the use of drones for reporting and verifying news on events that include floods, protests and wars.[55] Some media outlets and newspapers are using drones to capture photography of celebrities.[56] In December 2013, the Deutsche Post gathered international media attention with the project Parcelcopter, in which the company tested the shipment of medical products by drone delivery.

They may be used in performance art with new degrees of positional control that allows for new uses of puppets, characters, lights and cameras.[59] They have also been used in light shows[60] including most prominently in the 5 February 2017 Super Bowl LI halftime show in which Lady Gaga, in a pre-recorded segment, was accompanied by a swarm of 300 LED-equipped Intel 'Shooting Star' drones forming an American flag in the sky.[61][62][63][64] Quadcopters are used all over the world for racing (also known as 'drone racing') and freestyle events.[65] Racing and freestyle quadcopters are built for speed and agility.

the NTSB appointed a new administrative law judge, who overturned the earlier finding and ruled that under the FAA's enabling act, the FAA had jurisdiction to regulate 'any contrivance invented, used or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air,' irrespective of whether it was unmanned or manned.[69] Pirker was fined $10,000, but in January 2015 settled the matter with the FAA, agreeing to pay a $1,100 fine without admitting guilt.[69] According to a report in Aviation Week, the matter 'became a cause célèbre among the model aircraft and recreational and commercial small drone communities.'[69] In December 2014, the FAA released a video detailing many best practices for new drone pilots, including advisories such as keeping their machines below 400 feet and always within visual sight.[71] As of March 2015, the United States created an interim policy for the legal use of unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial use where each operator can apply for an exemption filed under Section 333 with the FAA.

circuit ruled that this violated the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which states that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.”[74] The FAA continues to allow registration on a voluntary basis, as well as requiring it for commercial use, but states that it is not required if 'flying under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft' (recreational hobby use).[75] In addition to the registration requirement, FAA has also released various operational requirements as follows:[76] Each rotor produces both a thrust and torque about its center of rotation, as well as a drag force opposite to the vehicle's direction of flight.


Since April, a troupe of eight flying machines has been performing in a Cirque du Soleil Broadway show called Paramour.

CGI QA.) What sets the Paramour quadcopters apart, and the key to their ongoing success on Broadway, are a new localization technology and fail-safe algorithms, that keep the fully redundant quadcopters safely on course, performing 8 times a week, in front of a live audience of up to 2,000 people, without nets.

From a lab aptly named the Flying Machine Arena he has been conducting research for over 10 years on complex, autonomous flight, using a high-precision motion capture system to guide the vehicles.

While the team used motion capture technology extensively over this period, this type of localization technology proved inadequate for a long-running Broadway production when taken out of the research laboratory.

The live events industry, in particular, has high safety standards owing in part to the amplification of safety risks when performing close to crowds of people.

To address these shortcomings, Verity Studios moved away from vision-based localization and developed a new system specifically for industrial applications that must meet strict safety and reliability standards.

As stated by Raffaello D’Andrea at a recent TED talk, both the new radio-frequency based proprietary localization system and the flying machines are redundant and use fail-safe algorithms such that every vehicle can withstand any single point of failure.

The technological achievement of creating a safe and robust system for flying a multitude of vehicles before a live audience introduces a rich palette for artistic expression.

About OptiTrack

is the largest motion capture provider in the world, offering high-performance optical tracking at the most affordable prices in the industry.

The OptiTrack product line includes motion capture software and high-speed tracking cameras, as well as contract engineering services.

Used by facilities worldwide in a variety of markets ranging from film and games to sports training and biomechanics, OptiTrack customers include Luma Pictures, Microsoft Game Studios, Proof, Halon Entertainment, The Moving Picture Company, Audiomotion Studios, Rockstar, nvizage, Electronic Arts, Animatrik and other top studios and developers around the world.

1-310-450-1482 'Swarm' Client: Atsushi Takada, General Manager, Lexus Internationa

Creative agency: CHI & Partner

Art director: Alexei Berwitz, Rob Webster, Rick Bri

TV Producer: David Jones, CHI & Partner

Audio post-production: Sam Ashwell at 750mp

Digital Producer: Emma Hodson, CHI & Partners

SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters

Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future.SPARKED: Behind the Technology: du Soleil: Zurich: Studios: Cirque du Soleil, l’ETH Zurich et Verity Studios se sont associés pour réaliser un court-métrage mettant en vedette 10 quadricoptères dansant.

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