That's a kangaroo, formed by formation-flying quadcopters at the Ars Electronica conference in Linz, Austria. (Before you get too excited, these are AscTec Hummingbirds and each one of those "pixels" in the picture cost $5,000). From sUASNews:

Twitter user Eva Shindling @evsccc recently posted a Kangaroo in the sky above Linz, Austria flown as part of the ARS Electronica 2013 festival.

The team from the Ars Electronica Futurelab are doing amazing things with multirotors what will they come up with next!


The show was carried out by AscTec Hummingbird quadrocopters produced by German manufacturer Ascending Technologies. The small electric helicopters, weigh less than 2kg. They have an on-board GPS module, with which they can autonomously find and hold their position. Software developed by Ars Electronica Futurelab commands formation changes. With their small LED bulbs as payload, the quadrocopters can form dynamically any figures in the night sky.

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Comment by Randy on September 15, 2013 at 6:33pm

pretty cool!  I count 30 lights so $150k.  $15k version coming up!  :-).

Comment by Rana on September 15, 2013 at 6:47pm
Comment by Oliver on September 15, 2013 at 8:55pm

For $150K I will personally wrap a kangaroo in glo-sticks and hold him up over my head at the top of a tall ladder.

Comment by Joshua Ott on September 15, 2013 at 10:17pm

For $150k, I will insert bio-luminescent genes into a a kangaroo embryo and train it to skydive after it's born. 

Comment by Martijn van Gene on September 16, 2013 at 12:35am

Are those the same quads that those guys from GRASP use?

Comment by HeliStorm on September 16, 2013 at 6:44am
$ that is just the hardware hanging in the air. I wonder the cost of the groundstation required to coordinate all those quads.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 16, 2013 at 6:58am

Martiijn: No, the GRASP guys built their own microquads, which they'll be commercializing via Kmel Robotics.

Comment by F1P on September 16, 2013 at 8:54am

$5k for each? OMFG...

Comment by Cliff-E on September 16, 2013 at 1:02pm

@Randy .... ;)

They are using Hummingbirds with specialized GPS (and experimenting with other localization tech). And a 2nd cpu I believe. They are offering the team for events now, basically commercializing their system.

I wouldn't mind a second I2C bus for a second CPU (navigation cpu) to attach to the Pixhawk (or APM for that matter) that isn't on the sensor bus.

Comment by Warren Purnell on September 16, 2013 at 1:35pm
I still prefer lo-tech fireworks.
Mmmmm.... maybe as a finale they can set off their Lipos?
Anyway, this stuff does my head in. I'm flat out flying 1'Copter let alone a Swarm.


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