The Future of Sport: Drone Racing

Posted By on November 19, 2015

In The Future of Sport: Drone Racing we look at a new exciting way to race virtually, via VR headsets and super-charged drones.

On Remembrance Day myself and Kharis O’Connell (CEO of HUMAN – VR/AR/Wearables Design Agency) headed off to meet Alex Dow who is part of a group called the Internet of Drones. This group puts on drone racing events once per month at Burnaby 8 Rinks just outside of Vancouver, BC.


Alex Dow from the Internet of Drones, Image Nikolas Badminton

Alex told us that The Internet of Drones focused on hosting events which includes racing, innovation competitions such as enabling wheelchair bound people to become mobile through FPV (first person view) flying, and drone battle challenges. Their goal is to be the good stewards between pilots and the community in an effort to mature the recreational drone space and work with stakeholders such as cities to facilitate more legal locations to fly.

Remote controlled flying has been an exciting pastime for decades, however in the past five years the hobby has evolved well beyond its niche beginnings with the help of smartphone and military technologies. Beyond the industrialization of multirotors applications such as cinematography, surveying and agriculture, the recreational space has also been quietly evolving with intelligent flight controllers and FPV flying. When multirotors were first introduced, hobbyists were excited with the improved flight characteristics, stability and autonomy that a small processor and a few sensors on board could provide. As the flight controller software became smarter, thanks in part to the open source community, the performance envelope of multirotors extended well beyond hovering and spawned into what we now know as FPV Racing and FreeStyle flying.

The drones that are used for racing aren’t your normal off-the-shelf drones we see being flown in parks. These are $1000+ racing machines that go up to 140 km per hour and have no stabilization mechanisms and cannot hover. They just go very fast and are very agile, and the crashes are spectacular.
The Internet of Drones are hoping to do more events and even take it to large outdoor venues where they can really unleash their power and engage more crowds.
Here are some more videos to give you more insight.

This is Drone Racing

FPV Drone Racing in Rural Canada

Other posts worth looking at:


Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.


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