From sub-zero weather to threat of rains, Intel reveals Olympics drone light show challenges

Intel Olympics drone light show

The dancing, dazzling drones may paint a picture of perfection and harmony for the audience time after time. But both the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been the most challenging of all drone lights shows for Intel, Madeleine Ong, Interim GM of Intel Drone Light Shows, tells DroneDJ.

A stunning drone light show by Intel was one of the major highlights of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony, bringing the city to life with a spectacle that highlighted the unifying power of the Olympic Games. But this wasn’t the first time all eyes were on Intel at the Olympics. They had done this before at the Winter Olympics in 2018. And yet, it didn’t get any easier the second time around.

Both shows were performed on a huge, global international stage before a wide audience, live broadcast stations, and news media. And each came with its own set of unique challenges.

Also read: Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony: special effects, secret drone light show

A drone light show in freezing temperatures

Over a billion people watched the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games as 1,218 Intel drones took to the sky in an unforgettable performance that set a Guinness World Record for the “most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously.” Tells Ong:

Many of the custom animations were over 300 feet high, creating a stunning performance that showcased the creative potential of technology and engineering. These record-breaking drones along with our on-site team had to be strong, resilient, and able to withstand PyeongChang’s sub-zero weather, which barely rose above freezing for the event’s 15 days.

And one in the midst of a global pandemic

For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, as the official drone partner, Intel launched 1,824 drones before a wide online audience that reached hundreds of millions across the globe. But this time, Intel wasn’t eyeing world records. It wanted to achieve something even more important, something all-powerful: unity in an uncertain time. As Ong puts it:

Following a year of struggles and fears because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, our team strived to bring a global connection of hope and optimism to the Opening Ceremony with the breathtaking symbolic 3D animation of the world floating high above the Olympic Stadium.

But the environmental conditions in Tokyo were completely the opposite to those in PyeongChang. The heat was sweltering, humidity near 100% and there was a threat of heavy rains, but still, our team endured and exhibited its unwavering reliability by taking our drones to the sky.

Related: Behind the scenes at Tokyo Olympics drone show

Now, while we would’ve certainly loved to see more of Intel at the Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony, we are sure the team is already working on its next awe-inspiring drone light show. For now, here’s a behind-the-scenes video from Intel and Dollywood that explains how these mesmerizing drone light shows actually work.

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