engineers have developed a system of drones to serve as flying pixels transforming thin air into a screen. GridDrones uses a matrix of cube-shaped flying nanocopters that can be handled by someone as they hover to create different patterns and can even be programmed to create specific animations.


the system is described as ‘a self-levitating programmable matter platform’, comprising a fleet of drones that can be used for representing voxel grid relief maps capable of rendering unsupported structures and 3D transformations. the number of voxels and scale is only limited by the size of the room and budget.


video by richard milton



grid deformations can be applied interactively to this voxel lattice by manually selecting a set of voxels. users can then assign a continuous topological relationship between voxel sets that determine how voxels move in relation to each other and manually drawing out selected voxels from the lattice structure.


using this simple technique, it is possible to create unsupported structures that can be translated and oriented freely in 3D. shape transformations can also be recorded to allow for simple physical shape morphing animations.