About us

We are a team of entrepreneurs, engineers, artists, live events professionals, mathematicians, and designers who believe that drones will fundamentally transform the live events experience. We are excited about taking advantage of the drones’ unique performance capabilities to create memorable flying characters and intricate dynamic swarms. With our cutting-edge drones and drone show technology, we hope to bring dazzling live performances to audiences worldwide.

Verity Studios’ team has more than 15 years of experience in the design and creation of flying machines. Our show drones have been featured in a variety of live events, including PARAMOUR, the Broadway show by Cirque du Soleil, where our Stage FlyerTM drones performed 398 live shows with over 7,000 autonomous take-offs, flights, and landings.

We believe that a system for live performances with multiple self-piloted drones operating close to crowds must be carefully engineered for reliability and safety – our drone show systems were built with these objectives in mind from start to finish. Rigorously designed adaptive algorithms allow appropriate and predictable response to errors and failures. Error-detection algorithms continuously monitor component function. The system is fully distributed and modular by design, allowing for high fault-tolerance.

Verity Studios’ show drones are also engineered for high reliability and safety. Our LuciesTM and Stage Flyers are designed for high intrinsic safety, including algorithms for pre- and in-flight safety checks. The Stage Flyers have the additional feature of being fully redundant or “fail-safe”, allowing them to continue flight despite the failure of any single component. A live demonstration of the fail-safe feature can be seen in the video below.

The emergence of drone show systems adds a new and thrilling dimension to the live events experience. For more details about the unique possibilities and challenges of this technology, have a look at this overview document: Drone shows: Creative potential and best practices.

Team portfolio

Verity Studios’ team members were the driving force behind many projects in business, academia, and the arts.

Kiva Systems / Amazon Robotics

Verity Studios' founder Raffaello D’Andrea co-founded Kiva Systems, where he led the systems architecture, robot design, robot navigation and coordination, and control algorithms efforts. Kiva has deployed installations worldwide, with systems consisting of thousands of mobile robots. By the time Amazon acquired Kiva in May 2012 for 775M US dollars, it was a 300-person company with a long customer list and more than 30 warehouses deployed across Europe and North America. It is now operating as Amazon Robotics.

Flying Machine Arena

Established at ETH Zurich in 2007, the Flying Machine Arena serves as a testbed for research in flying machines. Verity Studios team members have explored flying machine control and state estimation, trajectory generation, increased autonomy, adaptation and learning, high-precision and high-performance flight maneuvers, aerial construction, novel vehicles, human-machine interaction, and flying machine cooperation.

Robotic Chair

The Robotic Chair may look like a generic wooden chair. Unlike most chairs, however, this one falls apart and puts itself back together. It has been exhibited at IdeaCity in Canada, ARS Electronica in Austria, ARCO in Spain, and the London Art fair, along with many other international venues. It is now a part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Canada.

Failsafe

Verity Studios' team members have extensive experience in the design and development of safety critical aviation systems, from commercial aircraft to small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). One example is a proprietary algorithm that allows Verity Studios' quadrocopters to continue to fly in spite of the loss of one or even two of its motors or propellers. This allows for flying machines that marry the high performance and mechanical simplicity of quadrocopters with the safety of fully redundant aviation systems.

Flight Assembled Architecture

Flight Assembled Architecture is the first installation built by flying machines. Over a period of three days, in front of a live audience, a fleet of flying machines assembled a 6 meter tall structure, made up of 1500 modules. The installation is part of the permanent collection of the FRAC Centre in France.

Aerial Construction

Verity Studios' team members have demonstrated algorithms that enable flying machines to autonomously build a rope bridge strong enough to support the crossing of a person. Skills learned include how to carry loads, how to cope with disturbances, and in general, how to interact with the physical world.

TED Global 2013

In what has become one of the most watched TED performances of all time, Verity Studios' team members led by Verity Studios founder Raffaello D'Andrea gave a live demonstration of athletic feats performed by their flying machines at TED Global 2013.

History

Verity Studios team members' work on quadrocopters spans more than a decade. The first prototype for autonomous flight was completed in 2000. In 2001 Verity Studios' founder Raffaello D'Andrea received the US Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering and used the associated 1M US dollar prize money to launch his research on Control of Air Vehicle Swarms.

Dynamic Machines

Verity Studios' flying machines share many of their attributes, including novel control architectures and sophisticated algorithms, with other dynamic machines developed in and around continental Europe's top-ranked university for technology and engineering. ETH Zurich is the alma mater of many of Verity Studios' team members and simultaneously provides a talent pool of world-class engineers and engineering students at all levels. Many of Verity Studios' engineers have attended Prof. Raffaello D’Andrea's lectures, or designed and built creative experimental dynamic machines that allowed them to explore the fundamental principles of robotics, control, and automation.

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