Behind the scenes of the rapidly increasing number of drone shows. Even a “choreographer” who directs the machine appears | WIRED.jp Latest


In this performance, the drone was decorated like a lampshade and flew around the stage as if by magic. “Designers create costumes by carefully balancing aerodynamic constraints such as weight and airflow. Sometimes the costumes give us ideas for movement,” says Masen.

From the short video “Sparked” released in 2014, the first collaboration between Verity Studios and Cirque du Soleil.

Photograph: Verity Studios

Additionally, safety is the most important factor when it comes to drone shows flying near people. To ensure safety, Verity Studios has kept the weight of its drone, Lucie, to around 50g.

“Light weight is essential for a drone that flies around people.The chance of it falling is low, but if it does, it weighs about the same as a loaf of bread, so you won’t be injured,” says Masen. .

Once the choreography and programming are decided, all that’s left to do is press the start button. “We can get it to a state where all you have to do is place the drone down and press the start button, even if you don’t have an engineer. The drone will then fly autonomously.”

Domestic demand for sporting events

Although it is still early days, the number of indoor shows using drones is likely to increase in Japan in the future.

Drone Show Japan also began offering indoor shows in July 2022 in response to increased demand due to the relaxation of pandemic restrictions. In September 2023, another domestic startup called Space One also started an indoor show business.

“We receive particularly many inquiries about the sports scene.I think one of the reasons is that arenas and sports facilities are opening all over the country,” says Drone Show Japan’s Yamamoto. “Requirements for safety and accuracy are different for indoors and outdoors, so we will continue to develop the technology, but we can already feel that the market is expanding.”

On the other hand, when it comes to outdoor activities, he wants to deliver Japanese culture to the world. “Being able to draw content such as games and anime is a major strength of Japanese drone shows. In the future, I would like to export shows that use characters to other countries.”

A show held by Drone Show Japan in Kobe in March. Using 500 drones, life-sized characters such as Ultra Seven were drawn.

*Click here for related articles on drones by “WIRED.”


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