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These flying drones are playing classical music: Is this the end of the world?

Drone pioneer KMel Robotics has made quite the name for itself by demonstrating just what the burgeoning technology of automated flying drones can accomplish.

In the latest video released on Thursday, KMel have demonstrated the power and versatility of the hex-rotor drone design by having an orchestra of the little flying machines play rousing renditions of favourite classical tunes.

The mini fleet of hex-rotors is controlled by a central computer that acts as something of a conductor, and each robot's movements are programmed down to the millimetre and millisecond to ensure they all remain in time with each other.

The drones play a series of customised robot-friendly instruments, like a custom single-string guitar known as a "Diddley bow" hooked up to an electric guitar amp. They also hit a series of drums a deconstructed piano. And there are bells. Lots of bells.

The mini hover-bots go in for a rendition of Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), made famous by Staney Kubrick's sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Then they shift gears to some hotel-reception style bells for a festive session of Carol of the Bells, before getting all teary-eyed and patriotic for a round of The Star Spangled Banner.

The drones even have a surprise in store for the finale of The Star Spangled Banner.

Think it was all done with camera trickery? Well our US readers should head down to the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC this weekend, where you can catch this amazing performance live, for free.

Drones have hit the headlines with similarly rhythmic regularity in the past weeks, with Amazon claiming to have reached the 8th generation of designs in their plans to deliver packages by drone in the coming years.

Criminal gangs in Shropshire have also been using unmanned drones fitted with heat-sensitive cameras to find illegal cannabis farms – and then either rob or blackmail the owners.