Tag Archives: fpv

Drone Nationals results (and photos) — as seen on ESPN this weekend

The U.S. has a new top drone racing pilot.

Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer of Laguna Niguel, Calif., won the 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships at Governors Island, New York this weekend.

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All photos courtesy of the Drone Sports Association

The competition  featured 150 drone pilots in the world. Over the last year, 1400 pilots attempted to qualify at 20 regional qualifiers across the country.

Here are the full Drone Nationals results:

  1. Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer
  2. Paul “Bulbufet” Nurkkala
  3. Christopher “M3” Wang

And for the first time ever, ESPN aired drone racing on its ESPN3 live-stream. Continue reading Drone Nationals results (and photos) — as seen on ESPN this weekend

Drone Nationals air on ESPN this weekend

It’s the second annual Drone Nationals this weekend in New York City, and it’s shaping up to be America’s largest drone race yet, especially given the fact that they have snagged a spot on ESPN.

ESPN3 will air the race on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern time—the first time America’s largest sports network will cover the sport.

Tune in here.

It’s called the 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships, and this weekend, 100 pilots will gather to race at speeds of more than 60 miles an hour.  Continue reading Drone Nationals air on ESPN this weekend

Drones at Maker Faire 2016: photos, videos and more

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.

I met old friends and new, including Zoe Stumbaugh, who is one of the world’s top FPV drone racers.

Drone racing is exploding worldwide, with drone racing coming to New York City in the Liberty Cup and the International Drone Racing Association airing on ESPN. But there is nothing like watching it live.

I snagged some images at Maker Faire to share with those of you who couldn’t be there. Happy flying!

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Meet Zoe, the world’s top female drone pilot

In Zoe Stumbaugh’s world, it’s drones pretty much 24/7. Even when she’s not racing (she is the U.S.’s top female drone racer, after all), she’s designing new propellers, working on her own racing drone, or flying for fun near her home in Santa Cruz, California.

After being bedridden in her early 20s, Zoe found a hobby — racing drones. Since then, it ballooned into her winning the first ever sanctioned FPV (First Person View) race in the U.S., and she is now working on 3D Freestyle flying. Plus, she developed the world’s smallest competition-level FPV Racing Drone, the Zat 109.

I had the joy of flying with Zoe in San Jose, where she taught me what goes into FPV racing, building drones and what’s new in drone racing.

Learning to FPV from grand master @zoefpv

A photo posted by Sally French (@sallyannfrench) on Mar 31, 2016 at 6:18pm PDT

Drone Girl: How did you get into FPV?

Zoe Stumbaugh: I was really, really sick. I had to go through a lot of different surgeries. I was bound to my bed for a good 2 years. I was depressed. My friend told me, ‘You need a new hobby.’ I went to the hobby shop. I found a micro drone. Then I got a larger one. I saw videos of people flying FPV on YouTube, and thought, ‘I need to do that.’

It took me 2-3 months from hearing about it to flying FPV, because I had to build it myself. I never soldered anything in my life. I had to teach myself to do that.

Then I started winning races.

DG: How would you describe FPV to someone who has never done it before?

ZS: FPV is like having an out of body experience that you get to control. I liken it to being a monk where you can have an elevated experience and get to leave your body. Continue reading Meet Zoe, the world’s top female drone pilot

Drones are coming to ESPN

This is an excerpt of a story originally written for MarketWatch.com.

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.

4 accessories you need for your drone

1. Spare batteries! Most consumer drones have battery lives of about 15 minutes. That’s nothing! Easy fix: MORE BATTERIES.

oh-no

2. Spare propellers! If you crash, they’ll get beat up. Even if they don’t explicitly break, your propellers will wear down. Over time, this will lead to an imbalance in your copter, whichcan result in shaky video or rolling shutter. Fix the problem with nice, even propellers.62

3. An FPV kit. This stands for “First Person View.” You basically put on special goggles which are connected to a camera on the drone, and you can stream what the drone sees. It’s amazing!

success

4. A brushless gimbal. Want stable video? Use a gimbal, which is basically a mechanism that keeps your camera level. A good quality gimbal will eliminate shaky video. Choose a sturdy gimbal with the ability to balance.

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