The following piece is a guest post by FPV drone pilot BMac. Check out his YouTube Channel BMac FPV or his website FPV Drone Pro.
FPV drone racing is blazing a path to becoming the next big E-sport of the world.
While drone racing has been happening for years, some say drone racing became an official sport in 2016 when the Drone Racing League pitted the world’s best drone pilots against each other in high speed obstacle courses and hosted a Drone Nationals event. DRL recently received sponsorship from Allianz insurance to solidify a new 6 race series in major venues across the globe called “The Allianz World Championships.”
But before flying through extravagant obstacle courses, the people who are now professional drone racing pilots started out doing tricks and maneuvers in places they thought looked cool or offered challenging architecture. This is the heart and soul of FPV Freestyle.
While drone racing simply involves completing an obstacle race course in the fastest possible time, FPV freestyle involves navigating tight corners, under trees, around obstacles and through small openings all while doing tricks. Pilots must do all that while having an understanding of their spatial positioning to avoid hitting the ground while doing a power loop or clip a race gate.
FPV stands for “First Person Flying,” which is when you see what your drone’s camera sees in real time. Imagine it like a first-person video game, except you’re interacting with the real world.
What Are the Benefits to FPV Flying?
Traditionally, people would fly drones by line-of-sight. But this has some drawbacks. First, you’re limited to flying within a relatively short distance. When you fly via FPV, you can fly very far away (sometimes up to several miles). With a model like the Syma X8C, you can only fly as far as your eyes will let you.
Secondly, FPV flying is much more immersive. It’s a great feeling being able to see what your drone’s camera sees as you fly. For maximum impressiveness, it’s recommended that you go with FPV goggles over a standard FPV transmitter display. Trust me- it’s way better. Continue reading The complete starter’s guide to FPV flying→
At January’s Consumer Electronics Show, interactive home security company “Alarm” announced it is working on a smart drone that monitors your house. No, it’s not something straight out of the movie flubber where that little yellow flying drone called “ weebo “ flies around and monitors the house.
The idea behind this smart drone is that if an indoor motion sensor picks up movement while the homeowner is sleeping, the drone takes off and flies to that location, while you stay in bed and monitor the whole thing from your smartphone.
Alarm is not alone in using drones for home security. Other startups including Sunflower Labs, Secom Co and Eighty Nine Robotics from Chicago are starting to develop these automated security drones, though none of those are able to function indoors.
Alarm’s system is tailored to both indoors and outdoors, according to Dan Kerzner which is the Chief Product Officer. The drone is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight platform. The drone also doesn’t fly around the property 24/7 (as that would be costly and potentially dangerous and annoying), but instead is only enabled to fly after the hours the user designates.
Once triggered, it flies to the location and starts recording and live streaming back to your phone. Of course, the sight of a loud, flying object coming closer might be enough to scare off intruders.
ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control in Zurich, Switzerland is using drones to build walkable rope bridges. Referred to as “flying construction robots,” the drones assist designers with constructing walking bridges that can support the weight of an average-sized adult, according to ETH Zurich.
LOS ANGELES – Their backgrounds in the drone field ranged from marine conservation to robotics research and development to film and TV production, but the speakers and panelists at the LA Drone Expo overwhelming used their spotlight to discuss the possibilities the new technology can bring to the world.
Of course, that was not without a short disruption by protesters.
Drones, or unmanned aerial systems, are emerging as the next decade’s multibillion dollar industry with applications in anything from making family vacation videos to helping business run more efficiently, experts said at the convention.
“What I’ve seen is that this has now became a product for everyone,” economist Tom Marchesello said in the expo’s opening keynote address.
Presented by the Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle Systems Association, the expo, believed to be the largest of its kind in the world, was staged to unite the fledgling drone community, which has so far been largely spread across small groups of filmmakers, hobbyists and researchers with little organization to banner under.
Vendors and speakers comprised of a wide range of pioneers in the field, from DJI and 3D Robotics to Drone Dudes and law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, which works with aerial production companies seeking to get an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone regulations, which essentially bars commercial drone use and has been a high point of contention in the industry. Continue reading Inaugural LA Drone Expo celebrates the technology’s use for good→