Ever wanted to be in one of those pod races from Star Wars? OK, not that one from the Phantom Menace; that was too long and fairly awful, but now there’s a sport that races drones in much the same way.
How does it work? You strap on a pair of video goggles connected by radio to your drone, and then pilot it with help from an on-board camera in attempt to win the race, steering around obstacles in your way from all angles. There’s even a league called the Drone Racing League (DRL) that recently announced it’s inaugural season. You won’t be able to see it yet due to technical issues with the streaming that might make you and the pilots seasick, but the DRL hopes to have videos out of the races soon after they’re completed.
The first race for the league took place in empty SunLife Stadium, and the next will be taking place in an abandoned LA mall. To add some drama, the organizers are adding neon lights to further ruin the pilots eyesight, as well as pumping in some dry ice fog, because what kind of racing would it be if half of the time you couldn’t see where you were going?
Some of its early investors include $1 million from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, the lead singer of Muse Matt Bellamy and Hearst Ventures, which has a stake in ESPN (hey, if e-gaming doesn’t take off, maybe this will).
Drones are becoming big business now in almost all walks of life, especially considering you can control them from your phone, so it’s natural that racing would come next. Check out the video below and see what you think.