Drones are a contentious issue, but for some it’s a new hobby and the newest form of racing competition. “This is reality, this is not virtual reality,” said John Caldwell with Valley-based Drone Wars LLC, which is working to create an organized sport out of drone racing.
Operators race drones through obstacle courses or other predetermined tracks using mounted cameras that give them first-person view, Caldwell said.
“They’re using goggles or little small monitors to actually see what the camera is seeing on the drone as they fly, so it’s kind of immersive just like a video game.”
Usually in heats of four, racers attempt to navigate their drone as accurately and quickly as possible through the course.
Any misstep often results in a crash as disturbance to one of the drone’s four rotor blades will likely throw it off balance.
Caldwell said there are already hundreds of people participating in drone racing in the Valley and there are hundreds of clubs across the country.