Drone Racing uses FPV headset goggles (first person view) so the drone pilot only sees out of the front of the drone via the camera.
The drones are small very nimble, quick rigs and the courses they fly around are becoming more spectacular. The course layouts can be both indoor and outdoor featuring a wide ever-increasing set of hazard to fly through, under or around. In the dark the drone racing courses are lit up to with spectacular lighting.
The demographics of the drone pilots come from a very wide spectrum, young and old, but the future champion seem to be from a younger age group, with skills honed on the latest games consoles.
Here is a video from an emerging drone club in the U.S
World Drone Prix
In March 2016 Dubai was the setting for the First World Drone Prix. It was sponsored by the Crown Price of Dubai with over $1 million of prize money.
With this sort of prize money it attracted drone pilots from al over the world.
80 teams took part and it was won by Luke Wolferstain-Banister, a 16 year old English teenager from Somerset, who was part of the Tornado XBlades Euorpean team. The Tornado team were sponsored by the Tornado energy drink company.
Although Luke stood on the podium as the world champion and won the first prize of $250,000, the x-blades team ethos was to share any prize money amongst the whole team.
Over 2,000 spectators turned up at the event. The competitors had to fly 12 laps of the 590m course. Here are two videos from the Dubai World Drone Prix.
The big question is will drone racing be the next emerging sport.
Well it could be. We are starting to see full time professional pilots, very big sponsors are eyeing up and circling, but the main thing the organisers need to address is the audience experience.
Popular mainstream sports have adoring fans that need to be able to see first hand the action and be part of the whole race or event. The drone spectators need to get a perspective of the speed and overall layout, as well as seeing what the pilots view, as they negotiate the different hazard and obstacles.
When you watch the footage from Dubai looking through the FPV goggles you will see that there is still a way to go before the audience can fully appreciate the excitement and skill.
Here is a video that has had over 2 million views on YouTube of drone racing in a disused warehouse in Melbourne, Australia.
You decide which is more exciting.
This article was written by Roy Horton for Drone Photography Services