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For the first time, remotely piloted aircraft were used to light up the sky during one of the biggest events in the United States’ calendar: the Super Bowl halftime entertainment. This year, Lady Gaga’s show featured some 300 Intel Shooting Star drones with on-board LED lights that were cleverly choreographed to transform from a scattering of stars, to the American flag, to the Pepsi and finally Intel logos.

Although Federal Aviation Administration laws prevented the sequence from being performed live, it did grant special permission for the shot to be filmed a few days earlier within the normally restricted 55 kilometre radius of the NRG stadium, above a highly populated area and at higher altitude than the FAA usually allows.

Intel’s Shooting Star quadcopter aircraft have specially designed propeller cages to increase safety and can be flown in ‘swarms’ by a single operator, with a flight time of around 20 minutes. Intel first launched its Shooting Star platform in 2016 and holds the world record for the most drones operated by a single user, having launched 500 simultaneously last year.

Intel is certainly flexing its muscles in the competitive drone market, having acquired MAVinci and Ascending Technologies – two leading German-based industrial RPAS developers – last year. By combining sophisticated in-flight stability and aeronautical engineering skills with Intel’s computer science technology and the resources of a multinational heavyweight, the company is well placed to forge the future of RPAS development across all manner of industries.

Watch a behind the scenes video about Intel’s Shooting Star platform here:



And here’s Lady Gaga’s halftime performance complete with drone light show:

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