Drones are a fact of life and since art imitates life it's perhaps no surprise that the capabilities that make them so useful can also use them to create something like what Ars Electronica Futurelab did at the Cloud in the Net festival in Linz, Austria, earlier this month. The company used 49 Hummingbird quadrotor UAVs, each carrying a variety of lights. The control system synchronized the flight patterns and light displays to create some pretty amazing 2D and 3D presentations. According to CNET, the quadrotor display is just the beginning for the aerial expression of ideas, art and even sculpture, assuming the authorities permit it.
For instance, MIT's FlyFire project envisions hundreds or even thousands of drones flying in formation to form the dot matrix of just about anything that can be imagined. Artistic expression aside, the commercial application of that technology seems considerable for advertising or even communications.