Single Computer Operated Fleet of Drones for Gaga Show

300 drones formed shapes in sky
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2017 3:39 AM CST

The opening of Lady Gaga's halftime show at the Super Bowl featured an amazing sight you can expect to see more of in the future: a fleet of 300 drones lighting up the sky and transforming into an American flag. The drones, dubbed the "Shooting Stars," did not communicate with each other but were controlled by a person using a single computer with technology that maker Intel says can be used to operate fleets of more than 10,000 drones, TechCrunch reports. The basketball-sized Intel drones are a new, simple type of drone "designed for entertainment purposes such as festivals and entertainment events" and are capable of creating up to 4 billion color combinations, Intel says in a press release.

Because of FAA and Super Bowl restrictions, as well as the unpredictability of the weather, the stunning drone show was pre-recorded earlier in the week. The drones were also used to create a Pepsi logo. Federal regulations, including one that states drone operators must be in sight of the aircraft at all times, limit the applications of drone fleet technology for now, but its creators say they can see a future that goes far beyond entertainment. "I see them searching for a lost hiker with multiple drones at night with the right payloads looking for them," the leader of Intel's drone team tells Wired. "Or search and rescue efforts after a landslide, when it's hard to get people on the ground." (Read more drones stories.)

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