Swarms of smart drones to revolutionise how we watch sports

6733112543_6c215bcb6f_o_cropDrone innovators are transforming the way we watch events, from football matches and boat races to music festivals.  Anyone who has watched coverage of a festival or sports event in the last few years will probably have witnessed commercial drone use — in the form of breathtaking aerial footage. But a collaboration of universities, research institutes and broadcasters is looking to take this to the next level by using a small swarm of intelligent drones.

The EU-funded MULTIDRONE project seeks to create teams of three to five semi-automated drones that can react to and capture unfolding action at large-scale sports events. Project coordinator Professor Ioannis Pitas, of the University of Bristol, UK, says the collaboration aims to have prototypes ready for testing by its media partners Deutsche Welle and Rai – Radiotelevisione Italiana within 18 months.

‘Deutsche Welle has two potential uses lined up – filming the Rund um Wannsee boat race in Berlin, Germany, and also filming football matches with drones instead of normal cameras – while Rai is interested in covering cycling races,’ said Prof. Pitas. ‘We think we have the potential to offer a much better film experience at a reduced cost compared to helicopters or single drones, producing a new genre in drone cinematography.’…more

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