Lately, everybody is talking about virtual reality as one of the most immersive experiences of the moment, but what if we told you that there’s something even better? We’re talking about FPV (first-person view) drone racing, a combination between a video game and an action sport.
You must have seen a lot of drones flying around you, since these devices are getting very popular, with people using them for aerial footage, but here we’re talking about something totally different. Imagine a first-person view game which allows you to race through the air and dodge obstacles?
Sounds great, huh? Well, that’s what done racing is about, except the fact that it’s not a game. Racers wear special headsets and they see everything from their quadcopter’s perspective, all the action happening in special race fields.
Of course, don’t imagine that done racing is made using regular devices that you see maybe daily, taking various images while flying. Racers usually build their own devices from scratch, using parts as light as possible, in order to make their devices faster.
Currently, drone racing is a fast-growing sport, categorized as extreme, with fans all over the world. Even though it is still in its formative stages, there are already leagues, where racers compete in organized events, while entertainment shows have also started being organized.
One of the most important scenes for drone racing is UAE, where things seem to have evolved way faster than in other countries. Besides having a growing drone community, with local championships, the United Arab Emirates tried to highlight the humanitarian potential of this technology, organizing the “UAE Drones for Good Award” competition.
Launched at the initiative of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the competition, organized earlier this year, wanted to motivate drone enthusiasts to develop civilian applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology, in order to improve people’s lives.
Still, no matter how open to drones the UAE might be, it also has some strict regulations when it comes to flying them, similar to the ones applying in other countries.
For instance, the pilot should assume responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight and the device itself should be checked before takeoff. The drone should be maintained in eyesight, while distance from people or objects should be kept constantly, in order to avoid collisions.
Still, the latter is almost impossible, as the only places where you can fly a drone in the UAE are areas that aren’t congested, so stay away from busy streets, airports or airfields. Finally, the privacy shouldn’t be forgotten, being illegal to fly it within 50m of a person or a building.
But these rules apply only when it comes to casual flying, since racing these devices is something totally different. Like mentioned above, the UAE drone racing scene is growing strong, as one of the recent Drone Worx events, which took place in Dubai, has proven.
The organization has been working closely with the Government and received all the necessary support to grow this very interesting new sport. Everybody who is can buy a drone especially made for racing and will also receive a free pilot course. More details can be found on their website as well as on the Facebook page, where images from the event can be viewed.
Of course, this was just a first step and we’re absolutely convinced that in a few years, the United Arab Emirates, will start organizing more than just local championships and, hopefully, we will even see a worldwide competition, where racers from all over the world will compete, since the country has the resources to organize such event.