Maker Faires don’t usually disappoint when it comes to exhibiting the latest in innovation and technology. At the Faire in California earlier this week, drone racing was one of the events to make a big impression, with an added twist that could be a smart solution to arguably the sport’s biggest problem.
It’s been suggested that drone racing doesn’t make for the best spectator sport. Currently, regulations mean that observers have to be pretty far away from the action as it’s unfolding. And even when close, it’s hard to appreciate the immersive excitement unless you’re flying yourself. At the Maker Faire in California, the Aerial Sports League offered a potential solution to this issue. The drone racing tent featured a ‘Ride Along’ section, where spectators could put on a pair of FPV goggles and live stream the action as if they were behind the controls.
Image from Instagram @Aerial_Sports_League
It’s a simple idea, but one that could be an effective solutions to those who doubt the appeal that drone racing could have along with mainstream sports.
Marque Cornblatt, Founder and CEO of the Aerial Sports League, spoke to us about the event out in California. “The ASL Maker Faire drone sports world event was pretty overwhelming. ASL had an enormous audience over the 3 day event. Somewhere just shy of 150,000 people passed through our drone racing and combat zones.”
But Cornblatt and the team realized that to truly inspire people and get visitors talking, they had to be able to experience drone racing, not just watch from the sidelines. “In addition to watching the drone races live and on 4 large monitors, ASL also set up the first “FPV Ride-along Experience” for spectators,” he said.
“Our sponsor Fat Shark provided a dozen pair of FPV goggles, allowing spectators to enjoy the same visual thrills as the pilots themselves. All weekend long ASL staff helped several thousand fans of all ages experience their first FPV flight, riding along with some of the fastest pilots in the sport, including ZoeFPV, M0ke, FlyingBear, and others. It’s safe to say thousands of new drone racing converts were created over the 3 day event.”
What a great idea! Although drone racing organizations such as the Drone Racing League have used FPV footage as part of their coverage, this is a great way to immerse spectators on an individual basis.
— Eddie Codel (@ekai) May 20, 2016
We’ll leave you with an alternative drone sport that was exhibited at the faire and proved to be really popular: drone combat. Watch as this drone shoots another out of the sky with a spiderman-style web/net…