• Kevin Luo

Drone Choreography

With the holiday seasons rapidly approaching, companies are looking for creative ways to make the headlines by pushing the boundary of conventions. One such cooperation is Walmart, the American retailer giant, announced that they will be holding the "Walmart Holiday Drone Light Show" for its customers at various shop locations.


Image via Walmart


According to William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart, this form of entertainment will be welcomed by their customers because “After a particularly tough year, we want to help families end the year looking up. We want customers and communities to enjoy a moment of rest, peace, and hope.” The drones, each equipped with LED lights, will fly in formation to recreate 3-Dimensional figures in the sky while "dancing" to classic and modern holiday favorites such as Frosty the Snowman” by Bing Crosby and “Run Run Rudolph” by Kelly Clarkson. To achieve this, Walmart has recruited 1000 Drones made by Intel, and, with programming, they will fly in perfect formation. The retailer has shared a video on November 30th, 2020 of what to expect from the light shows, featuring 3D reindeer, candy canes, and snowman.


Video via Walmart YouTube Channel


In recent years, drone light shows have gained significant popularity all around the world. It is an effective and rather cost-efficient way to put on a show that a huge crowd can view at once. The planning of a show usually does not require countless rehearsals like traditional shows. The planners and engineers began by creating a storyboard, detailing the images and effect they want to achieve. Then these ideas are animated using computer software, which will translate them into unique flight paths for each drone. Each drone is connected to multiple GPS satellites and will remain in constant communication with the ground monitoring center to ensure no collisions will happen. The technology has been matured and refined over the past 8 years since it first gained popularity in a 2012 TED Video showing Vijay Kumar, Dean of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrating drone fleets handling complex maneuvers. There is no doubt that Drone Choreography will become increasingly common in the future and for this holiday season, families can access this link to see where and when the Walmart Drone Show will take place.

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