split image of UAVs creating van gogh imagery in a black sky

On December 18 2020, EFYI Group and Tianjin University (China) created a very unique 'starry night' across Tianjin's sky.

Using 600 drones, they successfully achieved the Guinness World Records title for the longest animation performed by unmanned aerial vehicles with a time of 26 minutes 19 seconds.

The animation depicted the life of the world-famous impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh.

According to the record's guidelines, the participating drones must generate 12 images per second in order to be animated.

van gogh riding bike in sunflowers

The drones recreated famous Van Gogh paintings, including: 

  • Wheat field with cypresses 
  • Cypresses and two women
  • The Mulberry Tree in Autumn 
  • The Starry Night
  • Starry Night Over the Rhône
  • Almond blossoms
  • Sunflowers (series)
  • Bedroom in Arles
  • Self-portrait 

"When it comes to animation, it’s a challenge for drones to perform it. For the previous drone demonstrations, it was a picture flying to another picture. Making a full-length animation is a difficult challenge for the whole team, both technically and creatively," said Zhang Siqi, COO of EFYI Group.

"Animation is a way to tell a story, to tell something that you want to tell," Siqi continued.

UAV van gogh with his feet in pond

The drones that participated where all of the same model, the Agile Bee II, which weighs 1.45 kg, flies at 10 m/s and can stay in the air for up to 38 minutes.

Guinness World Records adjudicator Maggie Luo participated in the entire process and after completing the official review, was able to announce that the record was successful.

"I’ve witnessed three drone attempts in the past, all completely different challenges. The latest one was on September 2020, most UAVs airborne simultaneously. However today’s attempt for the positioning accuracy of the UAV control system put forward higher requirements." - Maggie Luo

UAV van gogh looking at sunflower in vase

The more the number of UAVs, the larger the formation size, the higher the requirements for the UAV’s cluster control system, it will test the transmission of UAVs and ground workstations, signal transmission, and anti-jamming ability. 

"From a technical point of view, we use a high-precision positioning technology, to achieve centimetre-level positioning, and secondly, our synchronization technology, after the aircraft flying, to achieve multi-aircraft synchronized coordinated action." - Zhao Shilei, Product director at EFYI Group

We're looking forward to any more amazing drone records that may be broken in the future!

EFYI group with GWR Certificate