Drones Light Up London Night Sky – With Star Trek Logo

[Source: Ars Electronica]
[Source: Ars Electronica]
It’s not the Bat Signal, but if you’re a Star Trek fan, it’s even better. And if you’re a geeky Star Trek fan that’s really into cutting edge technology – that was deliberately redundant – you’re really going to love this. Just days ago the people of London were shocked to see, seemingly blinking out of nowhere, a 300-foot high Star Trek logo suspended in the dark night sky. Of course, were they anything like Spock they would have quickly concluded that the logo must have been produced by a swarm of 30 LED-carrying quadcopters.

And indeed they would be correct. The starlight logo was the result of a collaboration between Ars Electronic FutureLab and Ascending Technologies to promote Parmount’s “Star Trek – Into Darkness” that opens in movies theaters May 9th. The quadcopters, or Spaxels as they’re called, rose up near London’s famed Tower Bridge in the early evening hours of March 23. As pretty as the sight was, a lot of data crunching went into doing justice to the sacred emblem.

A ground flight control station communicated with each quadcopter in realtime to determine location and keep them on course. At the same time, the quadcopters communicated with each other. The end result was a back-and-forth through a 2.4 GHz channel resulting in the precise coordination of 30 moving parts. For a city that had its share of dazzling displays this past summer, this was one display that even – or, especially – the less athletically inclined can enjoy.

[Source: parmountitnl via YouTube

Peter Murray
Peter Murrayhttp://www.amazon.com/Peter-Murray/e/B004J3ONVQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Peter Murray was born in Boston in 1973. He earned a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore studying gene expression in the neocortex. Following his dissertation work he spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at the same university studying brain mechanisms of pain and motor control. He completed a collection of short stories in 2010 and has been writing for Singularity Hub since March 2011.
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