Elon Musk has been very busy lately. Over just a few weeks, Musk opened two major Tesla factories. Each grand opening of the Tesla gigafactories, first in Brandenburg, Germany on March 23, 2022, and then in Austin, Texas on April 7, 2022, was filled with the pomp and fanfare that people have come to expect from an Elon Musk event.
One of the most memorable moments from the Brandenburg gigafactory opening was a spontaneous moment between Elon Musk and a small drone capturing footage of the event. Standing alongside a line of the first Tesla vehicles produced in Brandenburg, Elon couldn’t seem to contain his joy. Trying to keep rhythm with the funky music playing in the background, he begins a clumsy, bouncy dance. Then, a small drone zooms up to get an up close view of the Tesla superstar. Musk smiles broadly at the drone, then playfully tries to grab at it. He then begins to carry out what can only be described as an “awkward dad dance” with the drone, all to cheers from the audience.
On April 1, 2022, Tesla uploaded to YouTube an FPV (First Person View) video of the Brandenburg gigafactory taken by a racing drone. These drones are extremely agile and can maneuver through complex obstacle courses when flown by highly skilled pilots. The video starts with the drone flying over a lot of completed Tesla Y’s before zipping through a door into the factory. The drone proceeds to fly through one of the most advanced and ecologically sustainable factories on the planet. Because of its small size, the drone can fly inside the factory mechanisms to show you just how the parts of a Tesla Model Y are molded, cut, and assembled. The entire experience is almost like being on a rollercoaster that slows down to show you the most interesting bits before speeding off to see another amazing feat of engineering.
For the opening of the Texas gigafactory, Elon threw what he called the “Cyber Rodeo at Giga Texas”. Before launching into a lengthy presentation about the amazing things that will be done at the Texas gigafactory, like producing half a million vehicles annually and starting production on what Musk calls his magnum opus, the Cybertruck, the event kicked off with a drone light show. About 15,000 people inside the gigafactory watched the drone’s live stream showcasing the outside of the nearly 4,000ft long building. On the front wall of the building, LED’s display Tesla themed images and flashing lights. The drone then pans over the building to show crowds of people and some unique artwork like a grove of metal cacti and a giant cowboy boot.
Then the drone turns away from the gigafactory, looking up towards the sky at what appears to be scattered flashing lights gathering together. Within moments the lights, which are micro drones with LED’s, animate into an outline of the state of Texas with the words “Cyber Rodeo” across the center of the image. Deafening roars erupt from the crowd with each drone animation, a favorite of which was an image of Elon Musk himself. Some may claim that Elon Musk needs to cut back a bit on the hubris, after all, it is a mark of a very healthy ego to have an image of yourself featured in a drone light show. Still, the drone footage of both gigafactories and the drone light show align with the visionary ideas of Elon Musk and his brand.