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.” Many of the custom animations were over 300 feet high, creating a stunning performance that showcased the creative potential of technology and engineering.
The production, which was first tested by the Intel team in the Alps in -10˚C (14˚F) temps, was pre-recorded for the opening ceremony. It was then launched on a smaller scale each evening for the medal ceremonies. Throughout the games, the drones created dynamic 3D images of snowboarders, hockey players, downhill racers, a fluttering dove, and the iconic Olympic rings. During the closing ceremony, 300 drones formed a large-scale animation of Soohorang, the games’ beloved mascot and Korea’s guardian animal.
Just like the athletes themselves, these record-breaking drones 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. These “superjocks” of the skies showed the world that they too could compete, and win, on the international stage.