What are they?
A fleet of airborne drones designed by Dr. Saud Abdul Ghani and his team from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department at Qatar University to provide shade over soccer stadia during the 2022 World Cup, to be hosted by Qatar.
Being designed in response to a requirement of the World Cup selection committee to have all stadia in the hot desert nation air-conditioned, the drones will be constructed from ultra-light carbonic materials, be entirely solar-powered and remote controlled. First seen on an Engadget post.
What do we think?
The artificial clouds are, we must confess, a pleasant respite from the heaviness of current world events. Sure, they are wasteful of both financial and energy resources – at an estimated $500,000 a pop they are anything but cheap; and they undoubtedly represent yet another example of oil-rich Middle-Eastern countries trying to deny and defy their desert environments – however they should also have a positive impact on portable solar-power and lightweight aircraft technologies.
All things considered, the clouds are a clever and light-hearted glimpse into the future of transport technology. Who knows, perhaps the idea of a world full of dirigibles has life in it yet.