From remote forests and derelict warehouses to international contests in professional sports stadiums in the space of a year, the sport of drone racing sure is gathering steam. The Drone Racing League is looking beyond makeshift courses and one-off events to establish an F1-like racing series at different locations throughout the year, with the first event set to kick off in Miami next month.
Not all that long ago drone racing was little more than a recreational hobby, where custom quadcopter owners would meet up at clandestine locations and pit their machines against one another in a frenetic blend of virtual reality and remote-controlled racing. The pilots don VR goggles, which stream vision from the nose of the drone as it zips through pylons and trees, making for an immersive and thrilling experience that seems to be winning over hordes of new participants every day.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
In July last year the California State Fair played host to the inaugural US Drone Racing National Championship, where competitors battled it out for US$25,000 in prize money, marking the rapid rise of drone racing as a semi-professional sport.
Armed with its own in-house media team, the Drone Racing League is now intent on taking things even further. Across a total of five events, pilots with names like Flyingbear, Spaztik, Kittycopter and Little A will race for their share of qualifying points. At the end of the racing season, those with the most points will advance to the winner takes all World Championship race.
The first event on February 22 will take place at NFL's Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, while the second will be in an abandoned building in Los Angeles. Beyond that, the remaining locations and dates are yet to be confirmed.
You can check out the promotional video for the Drone Racing League below.
Source: Drone Racing League