Flying Robots Danced in Unique Cirque du Soleil Performance


Cirque du Soleil, the world-famous Canadian theatrical company, presented on September 22 a magical short film shot in real time, SPARKED, in which a real actor frolicking with a swarm of colorful "flying lampshades”.


SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters



The eye-catching airborne robotic actors were actually ten motion-tracking quadrotors, equipped with special algorithm that allowed them to fly with utmost precision.  They were developed by ETH Zürich-based automatic flying machines expert Prof. Raffaello D'andrea and his team at Verity Studios.  The result of this perfect marriage between dreamlike performance arts and cutting-edge technology is breathtaking—thought-provoking, even.


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," said the inimitable science fiction master Arthur C. Clarke in the very beginning of the film.  And SPARKED is just another fine proof for it that excites our imagination to fly wild and high.



Also don’t miss out on the behind-the-scenes documentary video: 


SPARKED: Behind the Technology



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