How We Flew A Winter Drone Show


First of all, Happy New Year to all you DIY Drones users! 

Shortly before Christmas, we decided to bring a childhood dream alive and create Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer using drones. We created and flew a 50 drone show and would like to share with you the footage as well as our experience. Without further ado, here's the video:

And here's the flight at real speed:

Flight planning and drone control was done using our Drone Show Software. You can read more about it here:


All drones flown were Pixhawk-equipped (Pixhawk 2 Cube or Dropix). They were also equipped with RTK GPS and LED modules. Wi-Fi modules were used for communicating between the drones and the ground station.


To get the animation done we collaborated with one of the most experienced graphical animation companies in Latvia - baseMotion. This was the first animation they did for a drone show but certainly not their last. The animation was done using open source animation software Blender. Afterwards, it was converted to paths which were uploaded to the drones.

The biggest struggle was the cold. It was about -5 degrees Celsius at the time of flying the show. So we had to think about keeping ourselves as well as the batteries in warmth. For batteries, we used special boxes and for ourselves sweaters, warm winter jackets and, most importantly, warm socks. 


The outcome was breathtaking and certainly worth the effort. Seeing it in real life is far beyond anything that pictures or video can convey.

If you have any questions or are interested in creating a drone show yourself, visit our website and drop us a message.

May you have a successful year!

Safe flights,
UgCS Team

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Hello, there is no mistake. All drones and ground station are in single WiFi network. Technically drones can communicate to each other, but they communicate with ground station only - to receive routes, commands and RTK corrections and to send telemetry. 

  • Hello,

    In the article, it is written that "Wi-Fi modules were used for communicating between the drones and the ground station." whereas it is written in the comment that, "The drones are communicating to the base station, there is no communication between them directly."

    As I found this bit confusing, I request you to share the correct details related to it. 

    Thanks for sharing this article. It is quite a good information.

  • Yop, thanks for info.

  • Hi Palo,

    We're not selling the LED boards, that's why we've made the design available on GitHub so you can order them to be manufactured.
  • Is the driver for LED for sale somewhere or it is just documentation for DIY guys?

  • This is really overwhelming and fascinating. May I ask you what kind of LED module is used on these drones?

  • In your face Intel!!! Beautiful, really great job ugcs! Will contact you soon! 2 Thumbs up!

  • Wow ! it's really amazing !

  • Thanks for following our posts, glad to hear you enjoy them! 

    The drones are communicating to the base station, there is no communication between them directly.

This reply was deleted.