Hello World: Precise Aerial Art Drawn by Light-Painting Drones


Highlighting the capabilities of high-precision aerial drones, this series of LED words and patterns could be the future of everything from midair advertising to digital fireworks displays. Entertainment value aside, there is a practical purpose behind this teaser trailer: to illustrate possibilities for 3D aeria documentation.


The demonstrations in this launch video for PRENAV, a seed-funded drone venture, are meant to show potential investors and clients the power of centimeter-precise flying robots. “The precision comes from custom software and hardware we’ve created, including a robot on the ground that’s equipped with a camera and laser rangefinder to guide the drone along a predefined path.”


Some of these scenes were filmed in close to 20 MPH winds in the Bay Area, which is critical since the company’s mission is to document exterior infrastructure (from wind turbines to cell phone towers) for review and repair. Instead of sending people to do potentially dangerous recon, automation saves time, money and reduces risk.


“The video was a fun and playful way for us to highlight the capabilities of our system, but the precision that we’re demonstrating is essential for industrial use cases like cell tower and wind turbine inspections. For this type of work, a drone needs to fly extremely close to the structure to capture imagery and build a 3D reconstruction of the asset.”


“Flying this close is challenging, even for the most skilled drone pilots who today try to do this manually (since GPS can’t provide the accuracy needed for autonomous guidance). Our system makes it a breeze to get complete coverage of the tower with hi-res images.  And those images then get stitched together into an accurate 3D reconstruction that can be rotated, measured, and analyzed.”