Intel's drones broke a world record at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Intel drone show

If you were watching the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea yesterday then you might have noticed a swarm of Intel-made drones lighting up the night sky at various points – and those intelligent packs of drones broke a Guinness World Record along the way.

The record-breaking segment shown at the ceremony was actually pre-recorded, and featured a total of 1,218 drones flying together in sync, more than ever before. A smaller swarm of 300 drones was also planned to entertain the crowds live in PyeongChang but ended up not happening.

We've seen these Shooting Star drones from Intel in action several times before, and their latest outing is part of a deal between Intel and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The partnership covers VR tech, 360-degree videos, and of course the drone shows that wowed the audience last night.

The sky's the limit

The previous record for "most drones flown simultaneously" was also set by Intel's Shooting Star fleet. They followed up a show with 100 drones in Germany in 2015 with a performance featuring 500 of the bots the next year – obviously this tech is just getting smarter and smarter.

Every drone fleet performance is controlled by just one pilot. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles themselves are fitted with LED lights to produce a virtually unlimited number of color combinations, with each 384mm x 384mm (15.1 inch x 15.1 inch) quadcopter weighing in at 330g (0.73lbs).

"The Olympics are a time when the sports and entertainment industries are buzzing with record-setting performances, so it was the perfect stage for Intel Shooting Star drones and our team to set their own kind of record," said Intel's Natalie Cheung in a press statement.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.