written by Drone Reporter Rachel Borene
Ladies and gentlemen, start your motors!
Welcome to the world of drone racing! Did you know that the first U.S. National Drone Racing Championship was held in 2015? This sport has quickly become a favorite past time for both drone pilots and fans watching from the sidelines- or from their computer screens.
In this revolutionary new sport, drones twist and turn through obstacle courses using a method called First Person View. In First Person View, a pilot attaches a
camera to their drone and must use only the live video feed to guide their machine through the race track. This creates an exciting challenge, giving the pilot a view as if they’re sitting inside the drone itself, zooming through the race course… and in drone racing, anywhere is a potential race track!
Whether it’s through a forest or an abandoned building, on an amateur obstacle course or a professional one, drones can go where other machines can not. Of course, this creates some unique challenges when trying to involve fans. When watching a NASCAR race, viewers can sit in a stadium to watch the cars go around the track. With drones being but a blur through the air, it can be difficult or even impossible for viewers to see them, especially if the drones are heading through buildings.
The sport has gained enough attention, however, that financial backers are becoming willing to finance better technology for racing teams so that fans can watch competitions. In fact, in New York, The Drone Racing League was backed for $1 million by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
So, just how enthusiastic are the fans of this new sport? Enough that winners of big races can earn some seriously sweet cash. The inaugural World Drone Prix was held on March 11th and 12th, 2016, in Dubai. The first place winner, fifteen-year-old Luke Bannister, from England, won a prize totalling $250,000 U.S.
dollars. The total prize pool available to split across all categories was a cool $1 million.
If you’re a fan of video games, technology, and racing, try picking up a racing drone today! You never know where your skills will take you!