Intel Shooting Star mini drones are part of the 2018 ‘Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes,’ presented by Chase. During the production’s final scene, ‘Christmas Lights,’ 100 Intel mini drones will create a light show over the Great Stage of Radio City Music Hall in New York City using choreographed movements to create holiday-themed silhouettes. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
An Intel® Falcon™ 8+ drone was used to carry out an aerial inspection and survey of Hwahongmun Gate of Korea’s Suwon Hwaseong fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an important part of Korea’s culture and history.
A 3D model of Hwahongmun Gate was generated using thousands of detailed images captured from an Intel Falcon 8+ drone. Drones are emerging as an important tool to not only capture data but also provide a digital archive of history and help in the effort to preserve architectural structures of cultural and historic significance.
What’s New: Intel is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other industry participants to foster innovation and to shape the global standards and practices for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), with safety being the first priority. Intel’s assistance builds on the company’s foundational work last year with the Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) trials conducted by NASA and the FAA to develop and test UAS drone guidelines for collaborative communications and navigation among unmanned aerial systems in the sky.
“I’m honored that Intel’s Drone Group is participating in such critical programs to pave the way for new and expanded commercial UAS operations. By working with the U.S. government, as well as various other industry partners, we can demonstrate the magnitude of a drone’s potential when integrated into our nation’s airspace in a responsible way.”
–Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager, Intel drone team
Why It Matters: The White House tasked the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA with maintaining and building on their leadership in the drone space. New programs would facilitate advanced commercial drone operations and applications of technology and allow testing of UAS traffic management systems and detection and tracking capabilities. This is necessary to fully integrate drone operations into the national airspace system.
Recently, the FAA initiated the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (IPP) designed to explore ways to safely expand cutting-edge drone operations into the national airspace by pairing state, local and tribal governments with unmanned aircraft operators. The program consists of 10 teams in locations throughout the country. The work will test advanced drone operation and related technology over several years. Specifically, Intel is a participant in four of the 10 sites and may participate in operations in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, Oklahoma; the city of San Diego; the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, Herndon, Virginia; and the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in Tennessee.
Today’s Activities: Today in Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation hosted a media event to show progress, demonstrate and share results of some of the first missions. Intel flew night missions using a thermal sensor on the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ drone. This application could be used to look for lost cattle, as well as learn more about the habits and tendencies of local wildlife. In addition, Intel performed the first public demonstration of Open Drone ID, an open standard that offers a solution for the remote identification and tracking of UAS. Future missions at Choctaw may include drones for agricultural applications, public safety and infrastructure inspections, with planned beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations over people and more nighttime operations. The plans are to invest in mobile ground-based detect-and-avoid radars and advanced weather infrastructure.
What’s Come Before: The FAA has been chartered by the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to identify, categorize and recommend available and emerging technology for the remote identification and tracking of UAS. Open Drone ID is designed as an open standard that offers a solution. It is a beacon-based (wireless drone identification) solution that enables drones to be identified when within range of a receiver, like a smartphone. The current draft specification is based on Bluetooth 4.2 broadcast packets and Bluetooth 5 (long-range) advertising extensions. With this technology, each aircraft can broadcast its unique ID, location, direction, altitude, speed, make/model, base location and other related data.
The Open Drone ID project is managed through a workgroup within ASTM, an international standards body. Intel is leading the ASTM F38 Remote ID Standard and Tracking Workgroup. It is important that Open Drone ID is a global standard, like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, to provide broad scalability to many end users and use cases. More information can be found at the Open Drone ID website.
Intel’s Role: Intel has a history of participating in standards bodies and industry groups worldwide and has played a significant industry leadership role in bringing about globally adopted standards such as Ethernet, USB and Wi-Fi. Standards developed by standards-setting organizations and industry consortia are common tools to bring new innovations to global mass markets.
What’s New: In celebration of Intel’s 50th anniversary, the company flew 2,018 Intel® Shooting Star™ drones over its Folsom, California, facility, setting a new Guinness World Records™ title for the most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously.
“Several years ago, we had an idea of flying drones forming the Intel logo over our corporate headquarters, and here we are doing just that. It really speaks to the innovative spirit that Intel was founded on 50 years ago.”
–Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager, Intel Drone Group
What’s Next: Also in celebration of Intel’s 50th anniversary, the company is honoring employees and their families by flying 500 Intel® Shooting Star drones over its corporate headquarters, the Robert Noyce Building, in Santa Clara, California, July 18-22 (weather-permitting).
What They Are: The Intel Shooting Star drones are a type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specifically designed for entertainment purposes. They are equipped with LED lights that can create countless color combinations and can easily be programmed for any animation. The fleet of drones is controlled by one pilot.
Intel’s partnership with the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CFCHC) to protect and preserve the Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China is underway. And experts from Wuhan University LIESMARS have been added to the project, leveraging Intel technologies to preserve the wall more efficiently and safely than before.
This is the next step in Intel’s recently announced commitment to inspect and preserve the Jiankou section of the Great Wall. By incorporating advanced technologies into this partnership, Intel is giving conservationists new tools to protect history and help preserve one of the great architectural wonders of the world.
An Intel® Falcon™ 8+ drone is being used to carry out an aerial inspection and survey of the Jiankou section, capturing tens of thousands of high-resolution images of areas proven too difficult or dangerous for human access. These images are then processed into a 3D model, which provides preservationists with a digital replica of the current state of the wall. Traditionally, surveys of the Great Wall are a manual process, using a tape measure or visual inspection by people over a monthlong period. Utilizing Intel technology, the same inspections can be achieved in a matter of three days, producing more accurate data that helps conservationists develop an informed and effective repair schedule.
Intel’s innovative technologies are providing the CFCHC with safer, more efficient ways of surveying and inspecting. From aerial-captured content, teams will use Intel artificial intelligence technologies to help analyze the types of repairs needed and calculate the time, labor and cost of materials for repair. The added experts from Wuhan University LIESMARS will provide specialized support with implementing the new technologies.
The Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China dates back to the Ming dynasty and, in its more than 450 years of existence, has been affected by natural erosion and human destruction. While portions of the wall most popular with tourists have been preserved and renovated over time, the Great Wall’s 12-mile Jiankou section is one of the steepest and most dangerous to access. As a result, the stretch has not been preserved for hundreds of years.
With its innovative drone and imaging technology, Intel is revolutionizing the preservation of the world’s largest ancient man-made structure for generations to come.
UPDATE, 9:30 a.m. PDT, July 4: The drone show scheduled for July 4, 2018, at Travis Air Force Base has been canceled and rescheduled. Intel released this statement: We decided to cancel the performance today as a result of high winds that would have interfered with drone flight. Our drones can fly in winds up to 18 miles per hour, but the forecast calls for winds over 30 mph for the time frame we were planning to fly. We emphasize safety in our drone performances, including in our operations, the design of the drones, and the use of systems like geofencing and auto-land contingencies. We felt that canceling the show was the best decision under the circumstances. Our drone light show is rescheduled for 9 p.m. PDT, July 5, pending adequate weather conditions.
What’s New: Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, will collaborate with Intel to replace a traditional Independence Day fireworks display with an Intel® Shooting Star™ drone light show. In celebration of July Fourth and Travis Air Force Base’s 75th anniversary, 500 Intel Shooting Star drones will dance across the nighttime sky in a choreographed aerial routine that honors active military and veterans.
“We are excited to collaborate with the Travis Air Force Base to celebrate the July Fourth holiday by bringing a new form of nighttime entertainment to honor the military and their families. I am looking forward to seeing the joy and excitement that our drone light show brings to the spectators.”
–Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager, Intel drone team
Why It Matters: The origins of fireworks on July Fourth dates to 1777. For the first time, an Intel Shooting Star drone light show will celebrate Independence Day with an elaborate ceremony.
Travis Air Force Base is collaborating with Intel to recognize active military, veterans and participants of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). Travis Air Force Base has one of the largest Air Force EFMP populations. The program’s mission is to identify medical and educational service requirements of family members in support of active-duty sponsor reassignment and civilian employment overseas.
This drone light show will be a more inclusive July Fourth celebration that can be enjoyed by all families, especially those with sensitives to the sounds of firework explosions.
“The story of the Air Force is a story of innovation. With Travis in close proximity to Silicon Valley, the base strives to develop relationships and to play an active role in Northern California’s innovation ecosystem,” said Col. John Klein, Travis Air Force Base installation commander. “For our 75th anniversary and as a way of saying thank you for the unprecedented community support, we wanted to treat our friends and family to a special Independence Day celebration – Intel’s vision to reimagine fireworks with cutting-edge drone technology was a natural fit for our airmen and audience.”
In Our Words: “While fireworks amaze audiences of all ages, there are pollution and safety concerns and the loud sound effects are sometimes unsettling to humans and animals alike,” Nanduri said. “This partnership showcases how Intel’s advanced drone technologies are making strides to positively impact the world and create new entertainment experiences for all audiences.”
What’s New: Continuing its longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion and support of the LGBTQ community, Intel celebrated Pride Month with a drone light show that honored the LGBTQ community and Intel employees.
“We stand with our LGBTQ colleagues, partners, suppliers, customers and the entire LGBTQ community, by showing our support through our words and actions. It’s an honor to be the CDIO of a company that is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community, taking demonstrable actions toward building a more inclusive workforce and a more inclusive culture.”
– Barb Whye, chief diversity and inclusion officer, Intel
What It Looked Like: Three hundred Intel® Shooting Star™ drones lit up the nighttime sky over Folsom, California, in a performance celebrating diversity and equality, including symbolic illustrations of the Pride flag and same-sex symbols. Fusing the excitement of love with the magic of technology, Intel spotlighted two LGBTQ couples that include an Intel employee, with a personalized drone light show featuring illustrations symbolic of their relationships that were incorporated into the show’s choreography.
The performance was more than an entertainment spectacle – it was a tribute to Intel’s LGBTQ community and celebrated the company’s commitment to equality.
Intel’s Role: More than two decades ago, the Intel Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allied Employee Resource Group (IGLOBE) was established. Over the years, IGLOBE leadership has paved the way for meaningful achievements, including domestic partner health benefits, the addition of gender ID to the non-discrimination clause, all-gender restrooms at U.S. campuses and many other achievements that reflect changing societal norms and Intel’s evolving culture.
In addition to internal efforts throughout the company to raise awareness and increase acceptance, Intel is committed to building a society that values love over hate and equal opportunity for all. Intel has openly supported numerous pro-LGBTQ legislative efforts, including the recent fight against North Carolina’s HB2 bathroom bill.
The lightshow will serve as a tribute to these courageous couples and the LGBTQ community. Intel is dedicated to fostering inclusion and respect throughout its workplace and applauds those who have the courage to speak out and inspire others.
More Context: For more information on how Intel is working toward reaching full workplace representation by the end of this year, read its latest diversity and inclusion report.
Aerial modelling and inspections using commercial-grade drones offer compelling advantages for the resource sector by increasing safety, saving time and reducing survey costs. Airscope*, a Perth, Australia-based inspections and asset visualization company, has used the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ drone to extend these benefits further by developing computer-generated 3-D models of entire hydrocarbon processing facilities off the North West shelf of Australia and in the Cooper Basin, effectively bringing the field into the boardroom for more effective asset management.
Industrial digitization or “Industry 4.0” is predicted to generate US$421 billion in cost reductions and additional revenue each year for the next five years worldwide, according to a report by PwC.1 3-D modelling of resource assets by companies like Airscope is one way of contributing to and driving this digital revolution that is transforming industry.
Airscope’s director, Chris Leslie, and its chief controller, Francois Alberts – both trained commercial airline pilots – saw the potential opportunities drone technology could offer to the resource sector. They reshaped their careers to work with software, survey and geospatial specialists to develop new ways for large resources companies to manage their physical assets.
“When people think of drones operating in industrial applications, they think of inspections collecting data from hard-to-reach places,” Leslie said. “Our business has evolved beyond this where the real efficiencies and return on investment for the client come from providing a digital 3-D representation of their physical assets.
“We made the transition to asset visualization because UAV inspection only gave clients a fraction of the story; without context, the full potential of images captured cannot be realized. So now we create a virtual canvas of the entire site using airborne photogrammetry, ground photogrammetry and laser scanning. Once the virtual canvas is created, you can paint any operational or planning data on it, to serve as a human medium to access and interact with big data.
“You could compare this technology to how our lives have changed with innovations such as the smartphone – the time savings and benefits are hard to quantify,” Leslie added. “The benefits are multiplied when looking at clients managing large-scale resource sites due to the number of employees and the potential cost to the business if decisions are made based on inaccurate or incomplete information. Early indications by clients currently implementing asset digitization into their operations suggest day-to-day cost reductions of between 3.6 and 10 percent dependent on industry, and capital works projects being reduced by more than 20 percent. We are entering a period where decisions are being determined by the data at hand and companies that haven’t started their transformation towards digitization will be left behind.”
Recently, Airscope worked alongside drone manufacturer, Intel Corporation, and local Australian distributor, Position Partners*, to deliver 3-D models of Santos*-operated facilities in Australia’s Cooper Basin. Santos enlisted Airscope to provide not only large-scale virtual models, but also inspection services of critical assets, which are challenging to monitor using traditional methods.
“When looking for the best drone for modelling these challenging landscapes, we compared 37 different aircraft that all claimed to be up to the specifications we needed,” Alberts said. “When Intel’s distributor, Position Partners, showed us the Intel Falcon 8+ drone, we found it to be the only aircraft which met our expectations, for its reliability, stability and true 3-D modelling capabilities.”
The Intel Falcon 8+ is a multirotor-style drone that, through pre-programmed flight plans, is able to capture hundreds of aerial images per flight. These images are then collated and stitched together to form a holistic 3-D model through the photogrammetry process. Due to the accuracy of images capture by the Intel Falcon 8+, Airscope can incorporate laser scanning data into photogrammetry to make the model accurate enough for use in detailed engineering design of major infrastructure projects.
“Intel is committed to producing high-quality, commercial-grade drones that will excel in challenging environments such as the Moomba Gas Plant,” said Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager of the Drone Group at Intel. “Looking ahead, we will see a greater focus on automation of both the data capture and more importantly data analysis. This will unlock the ability for greater analyses and inference of large data sets that will be captured entirely by drones, allowing businesses to reduce operational expenses by assessing and predicting maintenance needs.”
The quality and rate of data captured from systems such as the Intel Falcon 8+ drone increases efficiencies and lowers operating costs, while around-the-clock access to a full model of the plant on the Airscope Visualize* platform reduces preparation work and disruption to the operation. It also eliminates risks for activities such as working at height or exposure to hazardous working environments.
“The quality and quantity of data we’re able to access from the Intel Falcon 8+ drone just wouldn’t be possible with any other method or technology,” Leslie said. “Moreover, our clients can see every asset from every angle and perspective, providing better situational awareness, insight and increased accuracy for making big decisions.”
1PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016, “Industry 4.0: Building the digital enterprise”, p.4
During the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Closing Ceremony, 300 Intel® Shooting Star™ drones took flight to celebrate the triumphant athletes who competed in this year’s games. The aerial performance painted colorful illustrations in the sky, including the Olympic mascot – Soohorang, the white tiger – who comes running in above the stadium, cheering on the athletes and creating a heart outline in the sky. The Intel Shooting Star drones create a volumetric heart, symbolic for gratitude and love towards the Olympic athletes.
Intel kicked-off the Olympic Winter Games with a Guinness World Records* title-breaking performance of more than 1,200 drones flown simultaneously during a pre-recorded broadcast for the opening ceremony. Additionally, the Intel Shooting Star drones soared to celebrate the Olympians at nightly victory ceremonies – when weather and logistics permitted – creating illustrations of Soohorang, the PyeongChang logo and athletes such as skiers, hockey players and curlers across the nighttime sky.
“Just like Soohorang, our Intel drones team has a challenging spirit and passion to push the limits and make amazing experiences possible,” said Natalie Cheung, general manager of the Intel drone light show team. “It’s been an honor to celebrate such magnificent athleticism and teamwork with Intel drone light shows, and a victory for us to see our animations of the games come to life.”
Intel has created an entirely new entertainment concept by producing drone light shows featuring hundreds of Intel Shooting Star drones all controlled by one pilot. The drones are custom-built for entertainment purposes with a lightweight structure. Each one emits more than 4 billion color combinations. Intel Shooting Star drones have starred in previous light shows at various high-profile marquee events in 10 different countries, most recently integrated with the Fountains of Bellagio at CES 2018.
For full details on Intel Shooting Star drones, read the drone show fact sheet. For information on Intel’s TOP worldwide partnership, visit the company’s Olympic Games news portal, which includes an interactive map of Intel’s activities in PyeongChang. For other details regarding the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, visit www.olympic.org.
Intel technologies are setting a new standard for safer, smarter, more efficient and less invasive research expeditions to protect our environment and gain further knowledge about the animal and human condition.
Intel and wildlife photographer explore the behavior patterns of polar bears in the Arctic through the lens of drone technology.
Intel partners with Parley for the Oceans and Oceans Alliance on Snotbot, leveraging artificial intelligence to research whale blow as a leading indicator of our global health.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 4, 2017 – Today, on World Animal Day, Intel innovation reaches new heights in science exploration, with the announcement of two successful wildlife research expeditions, powered by Intel artificial intelligence (AI) and drone technologies. In two separate collaborations with a wildlife photographer and conservationist and nonprofit organizations Parley for the Oceans* and Ocean Alliance*, Intel’s innovations are powering science exploration to help better understand the world around us in safer, more efficient and less invasive ways, allowing researchers to quickly act upon data that informs the longer-term health of our environment and humanity. Leveraging Intel drone and AI technologies for science exploration provides researchers with powerful tools to better inform their findings, giving them the ability to more quickly, safely, and cost-effectively gather and process critical data.
“Artificial intelligence is poised to help us solve some of our most daunting challenges by accelerating large-scale problem-solving, including unleashing new scientific discovery,” said Naveen Rao, vice president and general manager of the Artificial Intelligence Products Group at Intel Corporation. “Intel is proud to bring our expertise and technology to these research efforts and aid in the mission to better understand the health of our planet and, ultimately, humanity.”
Polar Bear Exploration
Traditional methods involving helicopters for exploration are invasive and costly. Paired with the treacherous arctic conditions, including freezing temperatures and heavy winds, exploration from a boat in these remote areas is challenging even for the most experienced researchers. In addition, the steel found in most boats can cause magnetic fields that challenge drone compasses making it extremely difficult to take off and land on a moving boat. Deploying drones is an alternative that provides greater access to researchers and wildlife experts.
Working with renowned wildlife photographer and conservationist, Ole Jørgen Liodden, the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ system is helping him track polar bear communities in the Arctic, capturing information on their behavior patterns, which will provide wildlife and environmental researchers with accurate, more reliable data that was captured in a safer and more efficient way. Tracking the polar bears’ behavior, breeding, feeding and migration habits helps scientists not only understand the effects of climate change on the Arctic, but also the health of the entire planet.
A recent expedition found that polar bears did not show any signs of distress or changes in behavior when the Intel Falcon 8+ drone was flown approximately 50 to 100 meters from the animals. The thermal camera payload made it easy to spot the bears against the colder background. This progress in studying polar bears with the Intel Falcon 8+ system creates new research opportunities, powering science exploration in ways never thought possible.
“Polar bears are a symbol of the Arctic,” said Liodden. “They are strong, intelligent animals. If they become extinct, there will be challenges with our entire ecosystem. Drone technology can hopefully help us get ahead of these challenges to better understand our world and preserve the earth’s environment.”
Intel is working in partnership with Parley for the Oceans and Oceans Alliance to advance scientific understanding on the health of our oceans using artificial intelligence to analyze the condition of whales and the environment. Project SnotBot uses Intel machine learning technology to help the alliance improve data analysis by running algorithms that can identify a particular whale and assess its health in real time, regardless of the presence of confounding factors, such as the whale’s unpredictable movements and limited ocean visibility. Through this advanced technology, researchers can make more timely decisions in the field and better understand the rich biological data that whale snot holds, including DNA, stress and pregnancy hormones, viruses, bacteria and toxins. So far, the SnotBot has been used to collect spout water from blue whales, right whales, gray whales, humpbacks and orcas in oceans around the world. Artificial intelligence gives whales a voice to share the health of our oceans and the environment.
“Parley Snotbot, a collaboration with Ocean Alliance and Intel, is a new and non-invasive research technology which allows us to explore our oceans in real time and open source data and knowledge,” said Cyrill Gutsch, Parley for the Oceans founder. “Our vision is to create a global network of digital exploration tools which generate the big data we need to identify threats with new speed and precision, so we can act on them instantly.”
For almost 50 years, Intel has been behind some of the most amazing technology and innovation to improve the world. Working alongside researchers to develop innovative methods to capture, process and analyze information about the environment, Intel is amplifying human capabilities and transforming the way people engage with the world.