So you've unpacked your brand new drone, fired up the rotors and sent it directly into ... a tree. Getting a grip on drone piloting can be a difficult (and costly) exercise, but DJI is looking to give beginners more room to move. This month, the Chinese company will open the doors to its first indoor facility designed to accomodate beginners earning their wings.
The DJI Arena is located in Yongin, South Korea, around 50 km (31 mi) south of Seoul. The space spans 1,395 square meters (15,015 sq ft) and sounds a little like some of the drone racing courses that we are beginning to see around the world, with LED-lit hoops and obstacles for pilots who are up for a challenge.
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Safety nets will be in place for vehicles that wander off course and pilots can watch on in first-person-view with LCD TVs streaming live footage from the nose of their drones. The arena will also include a maintenance room for tinkering and handling minor repairs, along with docks for recharging flat batteries – both of which will surely be popular areas.
Further to straightening the learning curve for novice pilots, DJI hopes to attract those with some experience as well. Skilled pilots and drone clubs can rent the space out for races and demonstrations, and the company will also use the facility to run workshops.
"DJI is committed to making aerial technology more accessible and easier to learn for anyone who wants to use it, and the DJI Arena is a great example," says Moon Tae-hyun, DJI Korea's Country Manager. "We hope to provide a safe and fun environment for people to experience the technology first hand, whether they are skilled enthusiasts or someone who is just curious to learn. Best of all, the indoor venue will provide a space for people to fly all year round despite weather conditions outside."
The DJI Arena will open in mid-August and will be available for individual, group and corporate bookings. It will also host DJI's New Pilot Experience Program, which are official events that introduce first-timers to the ins and outs of piloting the company's Phantom drones.