Drone racing began as an underground activity. Early races took place in empty car parks, and parking garages are still a favourite venue for drone racers.
The new sport of drone racing sees small but very fast robots fly around a circuit littered with obstacles. Unlike motorsports we are familiar with, the course of a drone race can be three-dimensional, with obstacles they need to fly around, under, over and even through.
FPV stands for First Person View. It refers to a style of drone flying where you view the world through a camera fitted onto the drone, and use that ‘first person’ perspective to fly the drone. This style of flying is in marked contrast to third person view drone flying, where the pilot keeps a watch on the drone from a stationary position on the ground while flying it.
The secret of drone racing’s rapid development lies in the technology needed to participate. Nearly all of the required components are relatively cheap and quite accessible.
The main elements of a drone racing set-up are the drone itself, an on-board video camera, a decent video transmitter, a pair of immersive video goggles and a set of remote controls. Flying with the goggles feels like an out-of-body experience.
Forests are also a perfect venue for drone racing enthusiasts, possibly inspired by the speeder bike chase scene from the Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi.
There is great potential if marketed successfully for Drone racing to become the next most popular sporting enterprise.