Could drone racing be the next Olympic sport ?

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles have been a contentious thing in society but we’re increasingly seeing them used for good. Once such positive implementation is for sport, the art...

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Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles have been a contentious thing in society but we’re increasingly seeing them used for good. Once such positive implementation is for sport, the art of racing a drone is a spectator sport, that’s made for TV. Armed with on-board cameras, today’s drones can navigate the amazing difficult landscape of a forest with an insane level of precision.

In this video below, we see multiple drones racing through a predefined course at high speed, avoiding (most of the time) the obstacles from surrounding trees and bushes. Watching the video clearly showcases how entertaining this sport can be. Although currently living in the realm of the enthusiast, it’s just a matter of time before the now commoditised hardware  becomes pervasive enough for leagues and formal competitions to be established.

Like all grass-roots sports, they have to reach a critical mass before reaching an audience worthy of television time and advertising dollars. Drones however have an almost limitless potential for race tracks that would be competitive and visually stunning to watch. From abandoned buildings, to the constraints of a river, to a ski run to a multi-story building, these ultra maneuverable drones would be fantastic to watch.

It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where an Olympics of the future features these nimble masters. The competitions would have to establish criteria for a level playing field with the winner being determined by the person with the fastest reflexes to successfully navigate a course. While autonomous drones can now navigate point A to point B flight paths, avoiding obstacles in the way, that’s a competition of algorithms, not something sexy enough for TV. A human navigated drone through environments like this, absolutely is.

What do you think? Would you ever race drones? Leave a comment below.

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