A Day at the Drone Races


– So my name is Travis
McIntyre, and I go by M0ke, and we are drone racing today. I kinda just stumbled upon drone racing. I never been into RC stuff, and my friend had one,
and I played with it a little bit and got myself one and just kind of fell into a hole. – I’ve been flying radio-controlled planes and drones for about six years. And I’ve been racing competitively
for almost two years now. – I got into drone racing actually when I could no longer ride my motorcycle. I was stuck in bed for
medical complications, so a friend told me to go find a hobby. Went to a hobby shop, and I found a drone that was a quarter of the size of this. After a couple of months, I built one, started racing them, and
it’s been a new life passion that I cannot put down. – When we first started with drones about three years ago, it
was mostly drone combat. With larger drones in like a boxing ring kind of environment. But in the last year or so, drone racing has really come into its own, and really has started to dominate the hearts and minds of drone pilots. – These are called FPV drones. That stands for first person view. And the way they work is, each drone has a camera onboard with a video transmitter. That sends a signal
wirelessly to FPV goggles. So as a pilot, you wear these goggles, and they transmit
directly to your eyeballs. – When you have the goggles on, it’s like being in the
cockpit of this little teeny tiny drone. And you pretty much have the freedom and get to see what a bird sees. And it’s kinda the closest thing to just being able to fly around in the sky. – One of the cool things
about this community is a lot of people design
their own equipment. Me and my friend actually
spent the last few months designing this little
drone, the Twitch 109, from Unique FPV. What’s really neat about
this, this is the smallest rig at this race. And it’s basically won me a
spot at Drone Nationals racing later this year. – [Marque] The race track is lit up, and the drones are lit up. So it’s almost like a sci-fi experience or like a Tron race, if you will. We’ve got 40 of the
world’s best pilots here and are already tearing this track up. It’s really exciting. – Racing, to a large extent, is all luck. It’s not getting ran into,
not having a video go out for some stupid reason,
not having something break. It’s exciting, but once
we put the goggles on, we’re sitting in the cockpit, and the rest of the
world kind of disappears. – I compete for fun and
the sheer thrill of it. And today I’ve been doing really good. For a lot of people, though, they compete for the top place. They like having the thrill of being the number one pilot. And for a lot of people, they go to these events with friends. So there’ll be two or three buddies that fly together all the time. They’ll get together, they’ll
carpool the different races. – The pilots that race with ASL are really an interesting mix. The demographic is all over the map. Some people are trying
to leave their day jobs and become full-time
professional drone racers. And so some of our pilots here today are making that transition. – Right now, I guess you could say I’m a semi-professional pilot. I get some money to do some stuff. But right now, I have no major sponsors. So it’s all me for the most part. – For drone racing to be
successful as a sport, we need to gather fans and make them really enjoy watching. So by making the track lit up and making the drones light up, I think it makes a better story for all the spectators
to watch and follow. – [Zoe] A year ago was
one of the first events, the Drone Nationals in Sacramento. Since then, there’s been drone races every weekend consistently
for the last year. And it’s only gotten more and more crazy as time has gone on. – The industry itself
has really nailed down how to best present the
drone sport to the audience. And so I see it growing
tremendously large. I see it on cable TV, network TV, lots of drone events being streamed. And I see it being a
legitimate, viable sport. The drone conversation used
to be about camera drones and privacy and all these other issues. But in the last few months,
the conversation has really turned away from those sort of politically-charged issues, and has really started
talking about the fun and the future of how
drones can be used for good as a tool in sports
and as a toy in sports.

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13 thoughts on “A Day at the Drone Races

  1. Great video man ,,really tells a true story on drone racing..great people great sport…zzzzzippy.

  2. You want people to watch and get tgem to enjoy watchingSimply " put them in the drivers seat"Let them login and watch one of the live video streams of a flying drone using googles

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