Drones grounded at opening ceremony, but not on tape delay

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The Olympics opening ceremony is always a big show, and this year was no exception, with Intel joining in on the fun with a record-setting performance of 1,218 Shooting Star drones flying in sync to create huge light-up images of Olympic sports and the iconic Olympic rings in the skies over Pyeongchang.

The broke the Guinness World Record for number of drones flown at the same time, the spokeswoman said.

"As it turns out, bring 1,218 of those drones into harmony doesn't present much more of a logistical challenge than 300, thanks to how the Shooting Star platform works".

"And while more drones does provide a broader canvas, it perhaps more importantly affords a better sense of depth".

The performance requires three employees to monitor the drones, and Olympic volunteers to help set them up.

For the remainder of the Olympic Games, Intel will have weather monitoring and air traffic stations determining whether the drone shows can go ahead, Wired reports.

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While the drone performance did play a major part in giving the PyeongChang Olympics Opening Ceremony a major tech spin, some South Koreans expressed regret that the foundational technology came from a foreign company.

"We are honored to have Intel drones playing several roles at the Olympic Games", Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager of Intel Drone Group, said in a news release.

Every drone fleet performance is controlled by just one pilot.

Using Intel's 3-D animator tools and simulation software, the company choreographed the flight patterns and coded the drones to display a fraction of their possible 4 billion color combinations.

In addition to the drone show for the opening ceremony, Intel designed and developed custom animations keyed to different sports for the Olympics' nightly victory ceremonies. "Not unlike the athletes competing in the events, we continue to push to innovate and develop the drone technologies that inspire people all over the world".