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LED quadrotors form 'Star Trek' logo over London

30 micro UAVs flying in Star Fleet formation take the city "Into Darkness" to mark Earth Hour.

Surely the Great Bird of the Galaxy is smiling somewhere.
Ars Electronica

I can't say I'm a fan of the "Star Trek" reboot, preferring the days when the franchise was so bad it was good, but I have to admire this marketing stunt for "Into Darkness."

We've seen LED quadrotor displays before, and there's no denying that lighting up the night sky with small flying machines has enormous potential.

Ars Electronica Futurelab, the same outfit that illuminated the skies over Linz, Austria, last year, launched 30 quadrotors near London's Tower Bridge and flew in a formation that any Trekkie would salute.

The 30 LED-equipped AscTec Hummingbird quadcopters from Munich's Ascending Technologies hovered about 118 feet to 426 feet above Potters Fields Park and formed a Star Trek insignia to coincide with Earth Hour.

The batteries that powered the micro UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) were charged on the Austrian renewable energy grid, according to event sponsor Paramount Pictures.

To mark Earth Hour, the LEDs went dim along with the lights on Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye, then winked on 60 minutes later.

The UAVs communicate with each other and ground controllers via a 2.4GHz transmission channel, and have GPS units for precise position control.

Check out the flying logo in the video below. Are you looking forward to "Star Trek Into Darkness"?