Perhaps you've read the most recent news headlines and blog posts on drone racing, and remain clueless about the mysterious and wonderful creature that is amateur and professional drone racing. If that's the case, then read on as this blog post aims to demystify the enchanted world of drone racing.
What You Need - The first thing to know is due to its relatively low cost, the increasingly popular sport of drone racing is fairly accessible to almost anyone, and any age group. All you need is: (1) the right FPV quad racing drone - micro and medium, or any size in between depending on the specific race category or/and league - with a built-in, or mounted camera (a minimum of two drones is recommended for a good race); (2) a remote controller or, transmitter to command and control your drone; (3) and a pair of 3D augment/virtual reality or, FPV goggles. Other optional but recommended ingredients include a smile, and a comfortable chair.
What Are FPV Goggles? Imagine the shrink ray technology in the 1989 movie 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids' existed in real life, and that every racing drone, big or small, had a cockpit from which you could control and fly your drone from within. Or, fast forward into the future, and simply imagine that drone races as seen on Star Wars are a thing of the real world. Or apply the first example to the second. However you like to imagine it in your mind, this is precisely the type of thrilling effect and experience that first-person-view ('FPV') goggles seek to accomplish.
Your 3D/FPV goggles are connected to your racing drone's camera via a video transmitter ('VTX'). The goggles receive, by way of live video transmission, and display onto the built-in screen inside your goggles, real-time video images, as seen directly from the eye of your drone's camera. The objective becomes piloting your drone from a first-person-view across and around an obstacle course against other drones, without crashing.
The Human Element of Drone Racing - Did you know that some racing drones can reach speeds of up to 80mph in under second, an acceleration speed that is in fact higher than a Formula 1's 0-60mph in 2.1 seconds? Drone racing requires no particular athletic ability per se. However, with these types of speeds, supernatural-like human reflexes; laser sharp mental focus; the ability to concentrate in fast and high-pressure environments; excellent hand-eye coordination; as well as a natural affection for adrenaline pumping situations; all are undoubtedly great assets to have for anyone wishing to bring the sport of drone racing away from their backyards and nearby parks, and into those thrilling, fancy and flashy, neon light packed professional drone racing obstacle courses.
Drone Racing Experience Levels - leaving aside drone racing simulators that allow you to experience drone racing on a very real level, drone racing can be performed as much on the amateur level. For instance, by drone hobbyists wishing to organize small local races in their backyards or nearby parks, with no other prize other than the pure joyous feeling of winning a drone race. Drone racing can also be performed on a professional level, as is commonly seen with the International Drone Racing Association and the Drone Racing League, with big prize money (sometimes up to $1,000,000.00) attaching to first place winners. Of course, there's everything in between, like the newly launched DR1 micro drone racing series, or the many other national and local drone racing leagues and associations springing up in different parts of the globe, from the U.S., to Canada, to India, China, France, and much more.