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WIRED UK

DRONE TROUPERS

Each drone is equipped with two 0.8mm-thick screens, made up of 3,060 LEDs
In Munkowitz’s video, dancer Zakiya Wellington performs with four drone companions (PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTONIO PAGANO)

In an abandoned London theatre, four screens are flying perfectly synchronised around the dancer Zakiya Wellington, flickering with graphics and flooding the stage with light and images. The action in Bradley G Munkowitz’s video is the vindication of Dave Green’s ten-year mission to combine flying drones and screens. Green’s software and lighting turned stadium seating at the London Olympics into the world’s biggest video display – but to attach a screen to a drone, impeding its flight, was a different challenge. “Most drones are used to collect information – video and photography – but these are here to distribute information,” says Bryn Williams, a co-founder of Flying Screens with Green. To achieve this, he equipped each of the drones with two 0.8mm-thick screens made up of 3,060 LEDs. Attached via a special carbon-fibre frame to a VulcanUAV drone, they add just 273g overall. Green envisions the technology being used for advertising and special effects at concerts. It’s currently too risky to fly the 7kg drone in front of an audience without a safety net, but Green is confident this will be resolved soon. WIRED’s hot tip for the BBC: commission Strictly Come Droning right now.

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