Ars Electronica Futurelab
Drone Swarm Highlights Dubai’s National Holiday Celebration
(Linz, December 5, 2014) This year’s festivities celebrating the Emirate of Dubai’s national holiday climaxed on December 1 with a big event, and one of the highlights of the half-hour show’s grand finale was an aerial display by the Ars Electronica Futurelab’s quadcopter swarm. 30 LED-equipped drones formed an array of sculptures—a smiley, a heart, arrows and several other geometric configurations—in the night sky. The Ars Electronica Futurelab’s quadcopters were aloft for eight minutes and reached an altitude of up to 40 meters. 3,500 guests beheld the extravaganza in a theater set up immediately adjacent to Dubai’s world-famous Burj Al Arab hotel tower.
Since debuting at the 2012 Klangwolke, the Spaxels have been flying high worldwide
The Ars Electronica Futurelab’s drone swarm lifted off for the first time on September 1, 2012 in conjunction with the Linzer Klangwolke themed “The Cloud Online.” The spaxels—a portmanteau word from space pixels—have been consistently making headlines ever since. The list of high-profile locations where they’ve displayed their midair artistry includes London, Brisbane, Ljubljana, Sharjah, Bergen, Umea, Hannover and, now, Dubai.