Drones light up the sky for Super
Bowl halftime performance
Collaborating with Pepsi and the NFL, Intel
(Santa Clara, CA, USA; www.intel.com) deployed 300 of its Shooting Star drones (http://
bit.ly/VSD-SB51-1) to create an image of the
American flag as halftime performer Lady
Gaga performed at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
The drones were recently tested with
Disney ( http://bit.ly/VSD-SB51-2), as this past
holiday season, visitors at Disney Springs—a
waterfront shopping, dining, and entertainment district—saw 300 of the drones deployed
in the night sky. “Starbright Holidays, An Intel
Collaboration” was held during this past holiday season. During the show, the drones performed a synchronized light show choreographed to holiday music.
Intel’s Shooting Star drones are 15. 11 in x
15. 11 x 3.66 in. (384 x 384 x 93 mm) with a
rotor diameter of 6 in. and can fly for up to 20
minutes. The drones have a maximum take-
off weight of 0.62 lb. and can fly up to almost
one mile away. Additionally, the drones fea-
ture built-in LED lights
that can reportedly
create more than 4 bil-
lion color combinations
in the sky. All 300 drones
are controlled with one
computer and one drone
pilot, with a second pilot
on hand as backup. In
order to perform at the
halftime show, Intel re-
ceived a special waiver
from the FAA to fly the fleet up to 700 feet.
Furthermore, they were required to obtain a
special waiver to fly the drones in the more re-
strictive Class B airspace.
Steve Fund, CMO at Intel, commented on
the drones in Forbes ( http://bit.ly/VSD-SB51-3).
“We have been using our drone technol-
ogy to create amazing experiences. We put
the Intel logo in the sky in Germany. We re-
cently partnered with Disney in their fireworks
show—they used drones in-
stead of fireworks. We can program them to
create any pattern that you want. We think
we’re doing something that’s unique,” he said.
“We knew our technology would be utilized
in the game. We just think it takes things to
the next level.”
While the technology and the end result
is undeniably impressive, Wired (http://bit.
ly/VSD-SB51-4) notes that the drone perfor-
mance was taped on an earlier night, and did
not appear live to the crowd at Super Bowl LI.
continued on page 6
NVIDIA high-school intern
builds humanoid robots
Sixteen-year-old NVIDIA (Santa Clara, CA, USA; www.nvidia.com) intern Prat
Prem Sankar’s interest in robotics began more than five years ago when his father
bought him a Lego (Billund, Denmark; www.lego.com) Mindstorms NX T set,
which is a programmable version of the toy. At that point, he said, he knew he
wanted to be a robotics engineer. Flash forward to 2016’s GPU Technology Conference—the world’s largest event for GPU developers—where he sat in on a tutorial on deep learning. Here, said Sankar, is where he first saw the possibilities
of what deep learning could be used for.
“It was the kind of technology I wanted to see in robotics.