This magician can effortlessly control 8 drones at once — or can he?

Is it possible to create illusions in a world where technology makes anything possible?

It’s the question tech-magician Marco Tempest asks and answers in his mesmerizing mini-drone swarm video.

Tempest, who has been making magic with everything from Apple iPads to robots for years, took eight $120 Parrot drones and some technology from Dronsis to create the illusion that he can control a drone swarm with gestures and voice. This is Tempest’s second foray into drone control and easily his most effective.

The tiny drones, which dance around Tempest and appear to respond to his commands, also take on a personality. They even appear to trade LED lights. Tempest notes that humans can’t help but anthropomorphize technology when it does things that appear to go beyond standard gadget abilities. In reality, the drones self-localize by using the pattern on the carpet where Tempest is standing. 

“We’re not yet at the stage where we can build drones that follow our every thought or command. But, we can simulate the experience using illusion,” Tempest told Mashable.

Watching the drones dance around Tempest and obediently return to their case, it’s hard to believe they don’t have little beating hearts. But they don’t. Really. Trust us.

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