The flying machines developed with FMA were featured on multiple academic and entertainment stages. Read on below.

Ted 2016

Raffaello D’Andrea demonstrated a whole series of novel flying machines live on stage at TED2016. All vehicles performed their maneuvers fully autonomously using their on-board sensors and a localization technology developed by ETH spin-off Verity Studios.


Sparked is a short film that combines human dramatic performance with a group of computer-controlled drones, resulting from a collaboration between ETH ZurichVerity Studios, and Cirque du Soleil. Its visual textures are real – no CGI or wires, slow-mo or fast-forwards were used to enhance what you see. Learn more about it.

IFAC World Congress 2014

The FMA team gave two public lectures titled “Quadrocopter dynamics: a demonstration” during the IFAC World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. The goal was to promote automatic control, and over 700 people attended the fully booked lectures. The audience ranged from professors of automatic control to school children interested in learning more about the technology. Using the FMA infrastructure, some underlying controls concepts (such as stability of a dynamic system) could be visualised and made intuitive.

TEDGlobal 2013

Raffaello D’Andrea gave a talk entitled “The astounding athletic power of quadcopters”, which was filmed live in front of an audience in Edinburgh on 10. June 2013. He used the FMA and the quadrocopters to expound upon the idea of “machine athleticism”, and in the process demonstrated some never-before-seen capabilities of quadrocopters. After the filming the FMA was made available for the conference attendees to interact with.

Zurich Minds

Raffaello D’Andrea was invited to give a presentation to a community of creative and innovative people in and around Switzerland at the Zurich.minds flagship conference on December 12, 2012. In his presentation entitled ‘Feedback Control and the Coming Machine Revolution’, he used the FMA quadrocopters to demonstrate the principles of feedback control and how novel technologies enable the design and operation of high-performance machines.

Google IO

The Flying Machine Arena team was invited to showcase its research at the Google IO developer’s conference, which took place in San Francisco, California. On June 27, 2012 the FMA quadrocopters demonstrated their ability, including triple flips, cooperative ball throwing and catching, and the building of a 150 foam brick tower. The event, which also featured live concerts and various tech exhibits, was attended by over 1000 people.

Hannover Messe

From 8 to 12 April 2012, the FMA was guest of Hannover Messe, a leading showcase for industrial technology held annually in Hannover, Germany. In 26 halls, the 5000+ exhibitors presented innovative applications ranging from energy generation to vacuum technology, from nanotechnology to industrial automation. The FMA was part of the “Automation & IT tour” and attracted large crowds that were amazed by quadrocopters dancing to music, balancing inverted pendulums, learning flips, throwing balls or building a small styrofoam-brick tower.

FRAC Centre

Flight Assembled Architecture, a collaboration with architects Gramazio & Kohler, is an exploration in aerial construction. Conceived as a 1:100 model of a 600 m high vertical village, the four day long, live exhibition featured four quadrocopters building a 6-meter tall tower out of 1500 foam bricks. The exhibition took place at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France from December 1 to 4, 2011. The FRAC Centre is an architectural art museum in the outskirts of Paris that promotes contemporary art, both nationally and internationally. During the opening night the museum hosted 300 enthusiastic people.
More information about the Flying Machine Enabled Construction

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