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China Programming Software Hardware Technology

China's Bungled Drone Display Breaks World Record (bbc.com) 67

Chinese company EHang has broken the Guinness World Record for the most drones flown simultaneously, despite them failing to coordinate for a light show. The company programmed a fleet of 1,374 drones to fly in set patterns, "but failed to spell out the date and the record-setting number of drones," reports the BBC. From the report: The South China Morning Post called the event an "epic fail." The record was previously held by U.S. technology company Intel, which flew 1,218 aircraft at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in February. Intel's show was pre-recorded before being aired during the opening ceremony, due to "possible freezing weather and strong winds." According to the South China Morning Post, EHang was paid 10.5 million yuan ($1.65 million) for the Labor Day performance in the north-western city of Xi'an. You can watch a video of the drone display here.
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China's Bungled Drone Display Breaks World Record

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  • Reporting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daralantan ( 5305713 ) on Friday May 04, 2018 @06:10AM (#56552756)
    "The South China Morning Post called the event an "epic fail."" And promptly had their social scores plummeting into the negatives....?
    • by jlar ( 584848 )

      No more travelling for them...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by burtosis ( 1124179 )
      I guess this means thier kids will be pulled out of school That ought to teach them a lesson.
    • "The South China Morning Post called the event an "epic fail."" And promptly had their social scores plummeting into the negatives....?

      Well, SCMP is in Hong Kong so it's a little different because...
      1) What happens or is said in Hong Kong (mostly) stays in Hong Kong.
      2) Hong Kong still has some autonomy and I haven't yet read about the social scores idea being used there - yet.
      3) SCMP is in English, so its target audience is actually mostly foreigners or locals with really good English skills.

  • The New Fireworks? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by coofercat ( 719737 ) on Friday May 04, 2018 @08:13AM (#56553022) Homepage Journal

    Are co-ordinated drone displays the 'new fireworks'? Fireworks are cool, but they're not 100% predictable, and they're noisy/smokey etc. I wonder though as this technology develops, and as 'heavy' drones become cheaper and more plentiful, if we'll see more of these sorts of displays for big annual events around the world?

    • Not just events, how long before giant glowing eyesore ads appear around cities everywhere, every evening?
      • Well, that depends where you live - where I live there are pretty strict laws about (permanent) illuminated structures - I realise these will drop through that particular loophole for a while, but I doubt it would be for long.

    • and they're noisy/smokey etc

      Both of which is a significant portion of the charm. Each of which have been used to create shows in their own right (fireworks that are used just for synchronised sounds, and fireworks which give off different coloured smoke for use in the daytime).

      I know I'd much rather listen to noisy fireworks than 1218 drones. I know I'd much rather listen to noisy fireworks than 1218 drones. Sentence used twice for the two different definitions of "drone".

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Friday May 04, 2018 @08:23AM (#56553060) Homepage Journal

    Why does the headline attribute this to "China"? It's a private company.

    • And why do they say "but failed to spell out the date and the record-setting number of drones" when the link shows otherwise:

      https://youtu.be/YQK6_2Brnqk?t... [youtu.be]

      • Re:China's? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tinkerton ( 199273 ) on Friday May 04, 2018 @08:55AM (#56553150)

        I noticed that too
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
        But even if they bungled up somewhere, the end result still looks pretty cool. The main emphasis shouldn't be on 'bungled'. Too much propagandishness to me.

        • There are two versions, one the company released and a composition of recordings from the crowd SCMP released. You could say there is a bit of a disparity there. Almost as if company doctored it's footage, quite a bit.
      • The link shows a lot of things, vid in SCMP article shows quite a few different things. Someone is using artistic interpretation on how it actually played out. https://youtu.be/YQK6_2Brnqk?t... [youtu.be]
    • Private companies in China are not the same as private companies elsewhere. You might as well use quotes when stating private.

  • Last summer our "drone" (quadcopter) group in Dallas set the record for the most flown individually, as opposed to Intel's system in which a computer flew them all as a group. We have a hundred people standing in a field, all flying our toys simultaneously.

    I wish the marketers hadn't labeled RC quadcopters "drones" because it creates confusion. An actual drone flies autonomously. Most drones are fixed-wing aircraft, airplanes. That includes the MQ-1B Predator, RQ-7B Shadow, MQ-9 Reaper, etc. What this artic

  • The drones did exactly as told. It's just a case of half the display being mojibake due to an iOS update two hours before the show.

  • Can't wait til they put AI into these things, and arm them. Oh what fun THAT will be.
  • Remember their big splashy people carrying Octo-copter?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/g... [forbes.com]

    Do you still want to ride in one of these?

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