Looking to get into drone racing? The Blade Nano QX2 is a must-have. I’ve always been curious about drone racing ever since I first learned about it a few years ago. But I never knew how to get started. My buddy and star drone racer Zoe Stumbaugh told me to get into it. I’ve watched Aerial Sports League host races and have wanted to get into it.
That all changed once I got my hands on Horizon Hobby’s Blade Nano QX2 FPV drone. For under $450 plus a few minutes of setup time, you could be well on your way to becoming the next great drone racer.
2016 was the year of the drone at the Bay Area Maker Faire.
From the moment you walked in there was a huge drone tent filled with Aerial Sports League’s drone racing. In the back, there was a huge caged stage surrounding by fans watching drone combat.
With drone combat, two drones fight head to head in an arena with a goal of knocking the opponent’s drone to the floor while avoiding your own drone hitting the floor. Drones are creative engineered for defense and offensive, with cages around them for protection, or air shooters to blast nets at opposing drones.
What do you get when you mix Formula One auto racing with competitive video gaming with flying robots? A spot on ESPN.
The International Drone Racing Association on Thursday announced it has signed a multiyear deal with ESPN to air drone racing across the network. Drone racing features a series of elaborate courses—like abandoned malls, NFL stadiums and subway tunnels—with miniature drones racing at speeds greater than 80 miles an hour and controlled from afar by pilots wearing “first-person view” goggles that show a live video feed from the drone’s “cockpit.”
The first IDRA race, which will send drones through Governors Island in New York City, will air live on ESPN3 on Aug. 5-7. Another race will be held in October. Both events will be followed by a on-hour TV special on ESPN.
“To go from a first-ever, U.S. national drone race to partnering with ESPN for international distribution in eight months is truly a sign of great things ahead,” Dr. Scot Refsland, Chairman of the IDRA, said in a news release.
Drone racing has been slowly rising in popularity, with IDRA claiming a presence in 35 countries. Another group, the Drone Racing League, announced in January that it raised $8 million in funding, including investment from Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s venture-capital firm RSE Ventures. Other investors included Hearst Ventures, CAA Ventures and Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy, according to a Jan. 21 SEC filing.
Shares of ESPN parent company Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.85% are down 5.3% year to date while the S&P 500 is up 0.9% in that time frame.