Robotic Clouds Will Provide Shade During Qatar World Cup

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Massive robotic clouds will float above Qatar to shade the stadiums.

Courtesy BBC Video

Organizers have taken heat over the potentially dangerous summer temperatures in Qatar. But the Arab emirate has come up with a futuristic solution, and as usual, cost is not an issue.

Summertime temps in Qatar can reach 122°F (50°C). Players and spectators alike face serious health risks in such sweltering heat, even leading FIFA president Sepp Blatter to (albeit unsuccessfully) lobby for playing the World Cup in the winter months.

(More on TIME.com: See photos of the gorgeous World Cup stadiums)

So it was back to the drawing board for the desert nation, and scientists have hatched a plan to hover giant robotic clouds over the venues to keep out the sun. The clouds are essentially massive blimps, filled with helium, and will be floated above stadiums. Four onboard solar-powered engines will allow the clouds to be controlled from the ground, shifting along with the sun’s zenith, serving as a huge umbrella in the sky to shade spectators and athletes.

The clouds come at a cost of $500,000 each, pocket change for the Middle Eastern nation.  The emirate is touting their World Cup hosting endeavor as an event where we can “Expect Amazing.” Robotic clouds – that definitely qualifies. What’s next, Qatar?

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 World Cup moments from 2010)

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