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 bringing our collective experience to bear on creating memorable flying characters and filling the large empty spaces found above today’s audiences with Synthetic Swarms to stunning effect.

Verity Studios’ team has more than 15 years of experience in the design and creation of flying machines and our flying machines have been featured in a variety of live events. For example, as part of Paramour, the Broadway show by Cirque du Soleil, our flying machines have performed more than 350 live performances with more than 5,000 autonomous take-offs, flights, and landings to date.

We believe that a system for live performances with multiple, self-piloted drones operating close to crowds must be carefully engineered for safety. This is why Verity Studios’ systems have been built around safety and reliability from the bottom up.

Adaptive algorithms that have been rigorously designed and analyzed allow responding to errors and failures predictably and appropriately. Error-detection algorithms continuously monitor component function.

The system is fully distributed and modular by design. The system architecture results in high fault-tolerance.

Verity Studios’ drones are engineered for high reliability and safety. The LuciesTM are designed for high intrinsic safety. The Stage Fliers are fully redundant: High-reliability components are used throughout the system and critical components are duplicated.

The Stage Fliers use proprietary fail-safe algorithms and control software, enabling safe emergency responses to the individual failure of any component. These fully redundant drones can continue flight despite any single failure (battery failure, connector failure, motor failure, etc.). A live demonstration of the FailSafe can be seen below:

We believe that drones will fundamentally transform the outdoor and indoor live events experience. 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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