One of the big challenges the racing drone world has yet to overcome is creating a drone that is ready to fly out of the box: no stringing random pieces of equipment together, no soldering, no building it yourself.
While the racing community has exploded among tinkerers, there haven’t been many accessible options for average people to get into drone racing. There are delightful ‘toy’ racing drone kits, but those aren’t fast enough to put you on the competitive racing circuit.
Uvify has brought us one step closer to putting drone racing in the hands of the average Jane.
The $699 analog or $799 digital video Uvify Draco racing drone is a sleek, sturdy drone capable of speeds up to 100 mph. The drone is designed by San Francisco-based startup Uvify, which has $5 million in funding and just a handful of employees.
The Uvify Draco is marketed as a ready-to-fly drone — no screwing or soldering things together. The battery snaps into place, the propellers screw on easily, and you’re ready to fly.
That being said, I wouldn’t consider the drone to be 100% ready to fly. Unlike other drone racing kits, the Draco does not come with a transmitter, which means you’ll have to separately purchase either a DSM Spektrum Radio or Turnigy Evolution RC transmitter. You’ll also need a ProSight Receiver for Video downlink to Goggles.
Add up that extra gear, and you’re looking at a $1000+ rig. It also means the drone isn’t exactly as “plug and play” as it sounds. You won’t be able to fly it the day you receive your drone unless you already have the transmitter and receiver. You’ll also have to do a bit of finagling to make sure everything is all synced up.
That being said, the fact that the Uvify Draco is sold as a standalone could be seen as a positive — rather than a negative — for FPV drone racers who already have an RC transmitter; it would make no sense for them to have two.
Compare that with some of the racing drone kits where all you have to do is charge the battery and power “on,” and it’s evident that this isn’t a drone for beginners to RC.
But for those drone racing pros, the Uvify is a classy aircraft. The drone can reach 70 mph in a race course, and 100mph if in a straight track. The drone also has a GPS, which makes it a bit easier for beginners to fly. It’s a bit more than 6 inches across.
The design is modular — a smart choice for drone pilots looking to easily upgrade it in the future. New pieces like propellers or arms can easily be snapped or screwed into place.
The Uvify Draco racing drone is the ultimate vehicle for drone racers who are serious about the hobby who aren’t interested in building a custom drone themselves.