Best hardware and software for drone light show

My friends and I are CS students, and a theme park owner wants to pay us to build him 100-200 light show drones and program custom animations. We’re relative novices when it comes to drones, and we were hoping we could get your advice on what hardware and software we should be looking to get.

In particular, what flight controllers should we buy that are:

  1. affordable in such large quantities

  2. allow us to program swarm animations with a library like DroneKit-Python

  3. are compatible with onboard GPS’s, and (if necessary?) a RTK base station.

We really have no experience with the industry, so if you have any feedback on what frame, GPS, RTK station, receiver, and programming library we should use, it would be hugely helpful!!!

I realize that we don’t know what we don’t know about this industry, so if there is any information that you have about anything involving custom drone light shows, please let me know!!!

Thanks a million for reading this request, and my deepest gratitude if you have some information that can help us!!! :slight_smile:

Hi, there are several aspects to this project, I am not aware of a direct pipeline that can provide you with an end-to-end solution for this project. you need to plan out different blocks such as inter drone collision planning, if you want to change patterns you’ll need swarm planners etc.

I would love to see this in action :slight_smile:


Hi, thanks for that information! Can you give me some information any phase of the project? For example, is there a flight controller or software that is optimal for this?

Hi, I am sorry I cannot comment on hardware since I think there are people who can advise you. but in terms of software, you can checkout HKUST git repos to find swarming solutions along with localization implementations

In the end of 2017 we started a start-up specialized in the develop of the next generation platform for drone light show, and it’s based on Arducopter. It’s called “LuminousBees” and the outdoor drone “LuminousBee”, the indoor version “mini-LuminousBees”. Have a look at and if you like let’s keep in touch, all the best, Giorgio

Thanks! This looks extremely promising! How much would it cost per-drone, including the GPS addon, lights, and whatever else would be necessary to create an outdoor swarm?

Assuming it is not expensive, we will buy one to begin with, but if we like it, we will buy in bulk!

Feel free to email me at dwarkesh.sanjay.patel at :slight_smile:

This is a great tip, thanks!

@Giorgio_Rinolfi Thanks for sharing your success story, It would be really helpful if you can talk a bit about hardware/software or problems you faced during the developmment.