On 22 February in Miami, the twelve best drone pilots in the world turned up to compete against each other. The city’s American football Sun Life Stadium, became the scene of a, to say the least, spectacular drone race.
Unfortunately however, for obvious safety reasons, no members of public were witness to the event. On the 80 mph (130 km/h) slalom style race circuit programme, the drones not only had to fly above the stands and through open doors, but also up and down the stadium’s maze of interior corridors and stairs.
Comfortably installed, the pilots, of four different nationalities (USA, Brazil, Mexico, Australia), operated their drones, of course, by use of remote controls, and also wore immersive virtual reality (VR) spectacles to provide the projected images filmed by their machines. Four identical drones competed in each race, of which there were three on the programme, with points being awarded based on time and respect of the course layout.
After the first round in Miami, it was the Australian "Rekrek", who ranked first overall; however, there are still five rounds to go (places and dates have not yet been announced) before the name of the world’s first drone champion can be written into the record books.