Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Drone Swarm "Ballet"

Thousands of small 8" drones programmed to move in clouds like starlings.
  [vote for,

The daytime opening act for a nighttime fireworks display perhaps. Guessing you got this figured out you'd be booked pretty solid. If the budget for the fireworks display was say $30,000, I think you could charge 5 grand for this to be the opening act dancing around continuously while people arrived.

Of course, you could move beyond the pretty abstract shapes that starlings make and form words, characters, faces, animations etc. You could even announce the coming display by forming the words "Are you ready for...?" then having a big bundle of drones fly straight up like a fireworks mortar and fly apart like they're exploding.

With a little creativity I'd think you could come up with some pretty entertaining ideas. See link.

Addendum: The drones would be fitted with smoke generators, lasers and ribbons as well to add physical presence to the swarm and allow fewer units to be necessary to fill the visual field.

doctorremulac3, Jan 06 2016

Like this. https://www.youtube...watch?v=8V6qUUWa4zk
[doctorremulac3, Jan 06 2016]

Coordinated , Anima...erial Swarm Display
[xaviergisz, Jan 08 2016]

intel drone show http://www.engadget...setting-drone-show/
[xaviergisz, Jan 11 2016]


       This is a beautiful idea. +
blissmiss, Jan 08 2016

       Would you set the "ballet" to either live or recorded music, rather like an open air performance of "Fantasia"?
jurist, Jan 08 2016

       Oh, of course. I'd love to write the piece for that.   

       You could also incorporate drones with smoke and lasers.   

       Might get to the point where it's as much or more of a draw than the fireworks.
doctorremulac3, Jan 08 2016


       These drones are going to have be either very numerous (in the hundreds/thousands), or quite large, or will have to trail something like a coloured ribbon, in order to be visually striking from a distance.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 08 2016

       I like the ribbons idea. Increases the visual profile a lot without much weight and adds a real time tracing element to the flight path that could be incorporated into the routine.   

       I always have mixed feelings when somebody adds a good idea to one of mine. Sort of like "Why didn't I think of that?" However, this is how innovation works. Innovation is a fickle mistress.   

       Anyway, great idea.
doctorremulac3, Jan 08 2016

       //very numerous (in the hundreds/thousands)// - drones are expensive now partly because they're new and fancy. In the future, renting 20,000 micro-drones for your display, each drone being about the size of a tennis ball, should not be massively expensive.
hippo, Jan 08 2016

       //20,000 micro-drones for your display, each drone being about the size of a tennis ball, should not be massively expensive.//   

       I agree - they could probably be churned out now for only a couple of quid apiece, so this might work as a business venture.   

       It's already very easy to simulate flocking or schooling behaviour in software, and it should be easy enough to adapt it to produce specific displays, without having to program each drone individually. The swarm would have to be able to cope with the occasional rogue or malfunctioning drone, though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 08 2016


       This idea is clearly passed the "Possible and worth doing" evaluation phase and into the "Now we need an entrepreneur with some mad get it done skills to make it happen." phase.   

       Now of course, as far as the numbers go, since nobody's seen this, you could get enough spectacle to make it worth while by having say, 2,000 units to start with. Nobody's going to say "Hey, that's not a very big droid swarm!" As long as it's the biggest drone swarm ever assembled up to that time, people are going to want to see it, so there's room to scale the idea with time.   

       And the business model is pretty "business 1.0" 1- Buy 2,000 drones. 2- Pay off 2,000 drones with show receipts. 3- Put profit into more drones, grow the fleet, increase the price.   

       As soon as you get the dough, build the things all in house. Then your only expense after you've amortized the manufacturing equipment, injection molds and automated assembly lines, is raw material. Plastic and various little metal bits that you'd buy in 50 gallon drums. If you automate enough, your manpower expenses would be very low.   

       Hmm. How much power would you need to shade say, Manhattan on a 100 degree plus day? I know the drones would generate a lot of heat themselves but they'd be pretty high up.
doctorremulac3, Jan 08 2016


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