Marco Tempest 24 Drone Flight: First-of-its-kind intimate performance with flying drones

Tokyo, Japan

February 2016

Using cutting-edge algorithms developed by Rhizomatiks that enable this first-ever close interaction in real time between drones and a human performer, Marco Tempest was in Tokyo for his latest project, a video demonstration that utilizes 24 autonomous flying drones called quadcopters flying close to and around his body like a flock of trained birds.

With the goal of safely creating an intimate and artistic interaction between man and machine, Marco and the production team needed the ability to reliably and elegantly control the drones at very high precision, but real-time indoor localization of drones in close proximity with human performers was a technical challenge that had not been successfully solved. Outdoor videos with multiple drones using GPS were limited to 1-5 meter precision, and indoor localization were typically very slow and lacking the capacity for close human interaction.

In collaboration with Daito Manabe, Motoi Ishibashi and their team at Rhizomatiks Research in Tokyo and supported by Marco’s magicLab in New York, this new demonstration represents a leap forward in the form of a robust show control framework that can now be deployed for special events in real stage environments. The complete drone control system will ultimately offer fast setup times as well as advanced authoring tools to create choreographies at 5-centimeter precision that can go beyond simple playback of motion sequences to provide real-time autonomous interaction.

As drones become more ubiquitous beyond military and hobbyist applications into photography, event production, and even home delivery, legislation about their use and safety is being debated around the world. This timely production demonstrates the arrival of technology that achieves safe, reliable, and artistic interaction between humans and drones that was simply impossible until now.

For more information or media inquiries about the Drone Magic video project, Marco Tempest, or the new drone control framework and how to implement it, please contact Empire Entertainment Japan. Empire is proud to have been a part of this exciting and innovative project.

24 Drone Flight video link

Top-page feature article in Wired UK

Trending feature article in Mashable

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Japan's top event production company, empire entertainment japan produces music, press, product launch, keynote, premiere and experiential events for many of the world's most respected brands. Empire's award winning video and film production team produces commercials, film, Internet shorts and viral videos for our many clients. Empire Artists represents top talent from genres such as video, dance, fashion, technology and variety performance for both corporate and theatrical engagements. Artists represented by Empire Artists include, enra, Marco Tempest, Alexa Meade, Han Ahn Soon, Yo-Yo world champion Black, Circus of Now and Taiko performers Mico Rhythm. Empire Entertainment Japan, based in Tokyo, is the premier experimential marketing and corporate event production agency in Japan.