Last week we wrote about Lady Gaga’s spectacular Super Bowl efficiency, by which 300 drones created a light-weight present to supply the backdrop for her efficiency, and later morphed from the Intel to the Pepsi emblem.
Before that efficiency Intel had already set two Guinness world data with their drone swarms, first with a light-weight present of 100 drones, then extra lately, in November of 2016, with a swarm of 500 drones.
But each of these data had been simply blown out of the water by Chinese-based drone producer Ehang. And it seems they may to have carried out so not as a result of they need to go head-to-head with Intel in creating drone swarms, however to make use of the consideration as leverage for saying the launch of their taxi drones in Dubai this summer season.
In a fifteen-minute lengthy gentle present that includes a swarm of 1,000 quadcopter drones, eHang beat Intel’s world file for a drone swarm gentle present by double—double—the quantity of drones. Check out the video under from Russia Today, who first broke the story.
About the Record-Breaking Light Show
The Ehang quadcopter used to create the gentle present is named the Ghost Drone 2.zero. During the gentle present they fashioned the Chinese character “福,” which suggests blessings; a map of China; and each the numbers 1,000 and 2017. The present occurred to mark the finish of the Lunar New Year.
The finish of the Chinese new yr, which takes place on the 15th day of the first lunar month (in 2017 this falls on February 11 on the Gregorian calendar), is often celebrated with a lantern competition. This yr, the southern metropolis of Guangzhou determined to make use of drones in place of lanterns.
The drones took off from the sq. by Guangzhou Tower, operated by distant management. They flew as excessive as 120 meters throughout the present whereas the Yellow River Piano Concerto, which first premiered throughout Mao Zedong’s reign, performed over loudspeakers.
You can watch the video to attempt to recreate the expertise, however we will solely think about how marvelous the reside present should have been, with all its pageantry, whereas 1,000 drones created varied shapes in gentle in the night time sky.
The particular Guinness world file that Ehang received with this gentle present is for Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne concurrently.
Given the timing of the present, proper on the heels of Lady Gaga’s efficiency at the Super Bowl, it appears cheap to imagine that Ehang wished to trip on the buzz about drone swarms and obtain their world file at a time when it might give them the most consideration throughout the globe.
After all, what a coincidence it might be if Ehang didn’t learn about Lady Gaga’s efficiency earlier than planning their record-breaking one.
Ehang and the Quadcopter Taxi
Ehang made main waves final yr with a powerful announcement that they’d developed a quadcopter drone referred to as the 184 that was large enough to hold an individual.
The 184 was first introduced at CES final yr. It’s a 440-pound quadcopter with an enclosed seating space for human passengers.
As reported at the time, the 184 can carry an individual as much as 10 miles, or as much as 23 minutes, at speeds round 60 miles per hour, in accordance with Ehang cofounder and chief advertising and marketing officer Derrick Xiong. And identical to a small drone, it’s succesful of flying at heights of as much as 2.15 miles, although drone regulation would probably maintain it at simply a number of hundred ft.
But at $200,000-$300,000 every, the 184 appears fairly cost-prohibitive. Add to that the regulatory hurdles that may absolutely accompany any makes an attempt to truly fly the 184 in any respect (not to mention function it commercially), and it would rapidly look like extra of a neat concept than one thing that may really be shaping the future of transportation.
Here’s a video of a flight check for the 184:
Just a couple of months again in the past, in December, Ehang introduced that it had already accomplished round 200 check flights in China, and that they had been arduous at work on a totally operational flight command middle.
So What Does Ehang Make?
Drones, of course. But ought to we see this world file as a pivot for Ehang, or one thing else?
From an out of doors perspective, it looks like Ehang created this 1,000 drone swarm with a view to get themselves into the drone lime gentle, and to not attempt to edge Intel out of the race to be the prime drone swarm producer—at the least not outdoors of China.
One purpose we are saying that is that there isn’t a lot data on the market about the 1,000 drone swarm, though it apparently occurred three days in the past. If Ehang wished to leverage their record-breaking drone swarm efficiency to pivot into a brand new sector of the drone trade, they might have issued press releases and media—pictures and movies and extra—about this new “swarm” software for his or her Ghost Drone 2.zero (as they’ve carried out in the previous for the 184).
But they didn’t do something like that. Instead, the story was damaged by Russia Today, and information has slowly filtered by way of to us in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Nationalism could possibly be another reason for the motivation to interrupt Intel’s world file. It’s no secret that the Chinese authorities backs many non-public firms in ways in which wouldn’t be permitted in the U.S., and easily one-upping U.S.-based Intel, particularly proper after they’d a giant, public success at the Super Bowl, could possibly be motivation sufficient to place collectively the swarm of 1,000 drones and break Intel’s file.
A telling facet of this story is that, for those who go to Ehang’s web site proper now, there isn’t any point out of the world file wherever in sight, not even on the Ghost Drone 2.zero web page. Compare this to Intel’s drone-focused webpage, the place their Shooting Star drone and associated data on drone swarms are one of the very first belongings you see.
But the reality is that simply yesterday, two days after breaking a world file with their drone swarm, Ehang introduced that they might be launching their 184 taxi drone for precise use in Dubai in a matter of months, making it clear the place their major focus lies.
In such a loud house as the drone trade it’s important to do one thing to face out, and it seems that breaking a world file could be Ehang’s ingenious method to have carried out this.
We can solely surprise, what drone-related file shall be damaged subsequent, and towards what finish?
Zacc Dukowitz is the Director of Marketing for UAV Coach. A author with skilled expertise in schooling know-how and digital advertising and marketing, Zacc is obsessed with reporting on the drone trade at a time when UAVs may help us reside higher lives. Zacc additionally holds the rank of nidan in Aikido, a Japanese martial artwork, and is a broadly revealed fiction author. Zacc has an MFA from the University of Florida and a BA from St. John’s College. Follow @zaccdukowitz or take a look at zaccdukowitz.com to learn his work.