It’s a surprisingly difficult to set-up activity for the average layman, drone racing is. Acquiring the parts you need is easy enough, but a large number of tutorials and troubleshooting are required to get drones ready to race. Making sure there’s no interference on the crafts’ transceivers is one of the many such problems pilots experience while attempting to properly set things up to organize an event.
So, especially for folk who have a passing interest in the activity, racing drones can be over before it even begins. This is what makes Autonomous’ Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund a start-up kit for drone racing so amazing. For an extremely low price (relatively), someone can get access to everything they need to start racing drones with a friend.
Autonomous’ kit contains 2 drones, 2 remote controllers, 2 headsets, and a number of flags and cones to mark out your own racing area (depending on which kit you purchase). They also have a mobile app that aids you in a few different ways, including giving you an easy way to organize a race against your friends. The maximum flight time of these quads are ~7 minutes on a single battery, and they control up to ~50 meters away. Videos of race flights can automatically be uploaded to the app.
This kit has, within 24 hours, shattered its original funding goal of $10,000. At the time of writing this, it sits at ~$25,000 with still a month left to go. There may be a few underlying reasons as to why it hit its goal so quickly, but these reasons don’t take away from my excitement for the product. According to their funding page, their team uses the Indiegogo platform to keep the transparency of their campaign. All stats, numbers, and deadlines are easily visible on the page, making sure the consumer knows exactly what they are aiming for. The fact that the team already started production of their product ~2 months ago also minutely devalues the idea of crowdfunding and makes it look like a publicity stunt. However, I am personally completely okay with this in the end. As long as the team provides exactly what they promise, there really isn’t anything wrong with the campaign.
If you are interested in the drone racing kit, check out their campaign on Indiegogo here.
For more information on the company behind the kit, check out Autonomous’ site here