Drone light shows aren’t just entertainment – they’re a powerful demonstration of what drone swarms can do. Now, SPH Engineering – a 5-year-old startup out of Latvia – is offering an off-the-shelf product for creating them.
atest upgrades of the company’s drone swarm management software, called UgCS DDC (Unmanned Ground Control Software Drone Dance Controller) “enables almost any drone and entertainment industry professionals to set up a drone swarm show in weeks,” says SPH. “The UgCS DDC provides tools to incorporate drones equipped lights and other show elements into stunning outdoor shows synced to music or live performances.”
Started by a group of drone enthusiasts, SPH has developed a signature product (UgCS) that covers many commercial missions. Their list of applications is impressive, ranging from land surveying to solar panel or power line inspections. The DDC, says the company, came out of work done in professional survey software, which required multi-drone controls.
The “UgCS Drone Dance Controller (DDC) is developed to manage a swarm of drones equipped with lights, fireworks, smoke generators or other payloads for astonishing shows. The drone choreography can be planned in 3D animation software, transformed to drone flight paths via a plugin and managed from a single computer equipped with UgCS DDC,” says SPH.
“It is marvellous to see a swarm of drones smoothly dancing pre-planned flight formations synchronised with music, displaying 3D shapes, brand logos or messages. The diverse payload options add the WOW effect to any show – smoke generators for daytime shows or LED-lights and fireworks for night shows,” says Janis Kuze, Sales Director of SPH Engineering. “Making this software available for UAV and entertainment industry will enrich spectators experience at events like we have already experienced it at the openings of National Football Leagues or the Olympic Games and music festivals.”
The UgCS DDC enables one operator to manage up to 100 drones from a single computer. And SPH has made it even easier for companies who want to add drone shows to their portfolio: “For UgCS DDC drone shows SPH Engineering has engineered a fleet of “from the shelf” part – drones are equipped with ArduCopter (open-source) and RTK GPS units, RGB LED modules and a Wi-Fi adapter,” says a company press release. “The choreography of the drone is planned in a 3D animation software, like Blender (open-source) and transformed to flight paths for UgCS. The integrated Art-Net protocol enables a smooth drone swarm incorporation to outdoor shows, as addition to lasers, beams and other fixtures.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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