Super Bowl Drones Weren’t Flying Live, but Still Made for a …

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The drones that appeared at the Super Bowl yesterday, each as a backdrop to Lady Gaga’s halftime efficiency (pictured above), and later for a 10-second spot the place the Intel brand phased into the Pepsi brand, weren’t truly flying reside.

At the beginning of her halftime efficiency Lady Gaga appeared in entrance of a swirling background of sunshine, standing on the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium. She then jumped into the air, seeming to dropping right down to the stadium to start out her present.

But the drones didn’t comply with her right down to the stage. And actually, they weren’t bodily current on the time she was performing.

The drones weren’t allowed to fly over NRG stadium as a consequence of restrictions positioned on the airspace over it by the FAA:

Temporary Flight Restrictions will prohibit sure plane operations, together with unmanned plane operations, or drones, inside a 34.5-mile radius of NRG Stadium in downtown Houston, Texas on sport day. The restrictions can be in impact from four p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5.

How Did They Pull It Off?

The FAA was reportedly open to lifting the drone ban for the Super Bowl efficiency itself, but it seems these in command of the efficiency determined to not take them up on it.

The cause these in cost determined to not do the drone present reside needed to do with a mixture of things, together with the climate and environmental points. Wind speeds in February have been considered doubtlessly unpredictable, and the opportunity of rain was additionally a issue within the resolution.

Despite the truth that the drone present wasn’t accomplished reside on the Super Bowl, Lady Gaga was there on the roof of the stadium for the filming, in order that side of the efficiency was accomplished “live” within the sense that she was current whereas the drones have been being flown behind her.

Intel labored on the drone mild present over a number of days, utilizing 300 of their Shooting Star drones, with the primary shot accomplished on January 30.

“We were on site for nine days, so we got the proper waivers to fly in Class C airspace up to 700 feet. We got the waivers to do this at night with multiple drones per pilot through the FAA. We were testing out our drones, tweaking our animations throughout this whole process, and we filmed for one night, and it was perfect.”

– Natalie Cheung, General Manager at Intel Drones

In case you missed it, right here is the second drone look from final evening, the place drones first create the Intel brand then part into the Pepsi brand.


About Intel’s Shooting Star Drones

The mild present was accomplished utilizing Intel’s Shooting Star drones, which have made headlines just lately by getting used at Disney instead of fireworks. (Disney has moved fairly shortly of their partnership with Intel—not too way back they have been speaking about utilizing 3DR drones to do mild exhibits with “flixels” or flying pixels.)

The Shooting Star is a quadcopter drone created by Intel strictly for the aim of placing on mild exhibits.

In November, Intel launched a video of 500 Shooting Star drones placing on a mild present in Sydney, a massive advance from earlier efforts that had included solely 100 drones.


The Shooting Star comes with software program created to automate the reside animation course of, in order that the “drone horde” or “drone flock” flies as one single entity, regardless of being fragmented into a whole bunch of discrete machines.

According to Intel, mild exhibits that used to take weeks to plan and orchestrate can now be prepared in a matter of days utilizing the Shooting Star. The logistics for execution are additionally a lot easier, since just one pilot (that’s proper—only one!) is required to run all the things.

The LED mild embedded in every drone can shine in any of four billion mixtures, so the probabilities are principally infinite in relation to the forms of mild exhibits these new drones can allow.

By taking the lead with these mild show-focused drones, Intel has once more set itself on the head of the pack in relation to business innovation.

A Historic Night

Although Intel had already logged a historic flight with the Shooting Star drones in November, the usage of drones within the Super Bowl is historic for a few causes.

For one, we’ve by no means seen this type of present earlier than, and we will solely think about that mainstreaming these sorts of sunshine exhibits through the use of them in a venue as big because the Super Bowl goes to usher in a new age of drone mild exhibits. Maybe in a number of years these sorts of exhibits might even appear outdated hat, but for now they’re model new, and thrilling.

Two extra causes final evening was historic have to do with the FAA but once more setting a precedent relating to the cheap utility of rules, and with the overall acceptance of drones by the general public at massive.

Due to privateness issues, to their use by the army, and to a normal lack of training, drones have been vilified in some public discourses.

Last evening confirmed the world that drones can be utilized to do some fairly neat stuff. And it additionally confirmed that the FAA, but once more, is greater than prepared to be cheap in relation to making use of its rules.

We say huzzah to that, and to serving to everybody perceive that drones are used to assist—and to thrill—folks on a regular basis, in all types of how.

We’ll shut this text out with the complete video of Lady Gaga’s efficiency final evening. Gaga, you’ll be able to take it from right here.


Zacc Dukowitz

Zacc Dukowitz

Zacc Dukowitz is the Director of Marketing for UAV Coach. A author with skilled expertise in training know-how and digital advertising and marketing, Zacc is keen about reporting on the drone business at a time when UAVs might 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 to learn his work.

Zacc Dukowitz

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