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Freedom Flare

Nothing gets the people going like a cook out celebrating freedom. As American’s, we truly excel at stuffing Brits in a locker (that SOCCER trophy is never coming home to England) and making things blow up. We will focus today on the new age alternative regarding the act of blowing things up, a 4th of July staple, fireworks. Recently, we see specific shapes, figures, and words made in the fireworks at events ranging from the Super Bowl to a weekend night at Disney World. People are unaware that they are not solely using regular fireworks; rather, they use drones to create a wow factor.

Drones offer boundless creative ability, lack the scent of your usual firecrackers, and provide a safer alternative to what we usually think of as fireworks.

Drones can be programmed to create virtually any image or animation. Imagine the Ohio State Marching Band with neon-jet packs. A recent innovation has added obstacle detection and avoidance to help ensure a smooth and consistent performance. Much like a choreographed dance routine, the machines now know how to recover to their designed spot for a relatively seamless performance. As the person who routinely lights the old school firework fuses for the family, this holiday is often accompanied by a distinct smell. It is not necessarily pleasant; I am indifferent to whether I like it or not. Irrespective, the growing number of drone shows does not provide that smell engrained in our minds.

Safety? What is the fun of that?

Anytime the 4th comes around, I immediately think of Buccaneers and USF Bulls legend Jason Pierre-Paul. Celebrating this very holiday back in 2015, Jason tried to launch a mortar like he had so many times during the day. This time it blew up in his hand…literally. Jason was left with a nub for his index and middle fingers (viewer discretion is advised if you Google the incident). Drone makers utilize such stories to highlight the safety benefits of their products. With remote control from a safe distance and precise drone control, the risk of fires and explosions, which are often heard of during summer, is minimized.

Regardless of how modern or traditional your fireworks are this 4th, I hope you kick back, stay safe, and God bless the US of A.

July 2023


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