With Chinese and American domination of the consumer drone market, it’s easy to forget that there are major competitors in Europe too. One of those is Parrot, and the French company has been trying to wrestle a portion of the consumer sector with its latest drone, the Bebop 2.
This weekend, the Bebop 2 made a big impression on UK TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, with a swarm of the drones combining with on-stage dancers for a dance different from anything we’ve seen before. The drone dance is the joint creation of Parrot and technology company BeTomorrow, with engineers from both teams forming a project called Flying Bebop.
The video above is probably the best way to understand exactly what happened. But to try and put it into words, two dancers shared the stage with eight Parrot Bebop 2s, which were all pre-programmed to fly around in sync to match the choreography. Parrot clearly provided the drones, but BeTomorrow were on hand to help with the software side of things. The drone dance was born.
Behind the scenes:
Jean-Dominique Lauwereins, co-CEO and co-founder of BeTomorrow, said that the preparation for the performance had to be taken in stages. “First we create the choreography in 3D and then we test it with drones only. Then with dancers, and we practice many many times until we get a great show.” As simple as that!
“We have created some special 3D tools which allow us to create choreography very quickly, even if the whole process may take up to one month,” he said. Lauwereins isn’t giving much away about what goes on technically behind the scenes, but he is certainly open about what the aim is. “We are really convinced that we could invent a new type of show, mixing robots (drones) and humans. Our dream is to be able to generate emotions through having a drone on stage.”