TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE (CBS SF) — Grounded by windy conditions on July 4th, a squadron of small drones took to the skies over Travis Air Force Base Thursday night for a high-tech light show that may one day replace the use of dangerous fireworks.
The squadron of 500 drones, capable of 4 billion color combinations, morphed from one image to another, all under the watchup eyes of just one pilot from Silicon Valley giant high-tech Intel.
Hundreds of military members, their families and staff were treated to customized designs including the Golden Gate Bridge and the California Grizzly Bear.
“It’s very innovative,” said Carmen Cordova, who was among those taking in the show. “Very smart. It was pretty cool.”
Dario Garcia of Antioch was in complete agreement.
“It was great,” he told KPIX 5. “They had every all lined up. It was synchronized well. The colors were great.”
Each drone only weighs 330 grams, so they are super lightweight and they are built to tell any pre-programed story.
“It’s a 5-minute story that can shift from something that looks like fireworks, that’s red, white and blue, that morphs into a different animation or different logo,” said Natalie Cheung, from the Drone Light Shows division of Intel.
Vice Wing Commander Matt Leard said the show was just one of the many links between the base and the tech gurus in the Valley.
“We pride ourselves on innovation,” Leard told KPIX 5. “We get a lot of the influence from down in the Valley…We are always looking for firsts.