imec-DistriNet researchers make drones dance

Stuk in Leuven hosted the premiere of the dance show “RATS” on January 11, 2017.

dancingdrones1In february 2016, choreographer Ugo Dehaes from ‘kwaad bloed’ contacted researchers from imec-DistriNet to discuss ideas and possibilities to use drones in a new, exciting dance show called RATS. A team of enthusiastic researchers volunteered to assist in analyzing the project feasibility and to develop the drones software and their choreography.
And it was challenging… budget-friendly indoor localisation, specification of the drone choreography, autonomous trajectory following, drone characters, safety mechanisms, networking, integration of various self-developed as well as existing libraries, etc.
But they made it happen. The dance show now succesfully features five autonomous drones, performing a choreography created especially for them. The drones host part of the research done at imec-Distrinet dealing with autonomy and safety aspects, and were a test case for software architecture concepts and engineering approaches that the team is working on.
The premiere of the dance show turned out to be a real success! If you want to see the drones and dancers in action, over 30 shows are being planned this season, and more shows are planned in 2017 fall - see Fabuleus .

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Pictures - courtesy of Clara Hermans