The next time you tune into SportsCenter, you might find yourself watching highlights from the latest drone racing competition. The International Drone Racing Association as teamed up with ESPN in a multi-year deal to broadcast drone racing competitions.
The first events to be broadcast on ESPN will be the U.S. National Drone Racing Championships in New York City, August 5th through August 7th, and the inaugural World Drone Racing Championships in Hawaii, October 17th through October 22nd.
ESPN3, the sports network’s online streaming service, will show the races. Highlights and condensed specials will air later on ESPN’s flagship TV channel.
The races put pilots in the cockpits of the otherwise unmanned vehicles by requiring them to control the drones’ flight through a pair of goggles that receive a live video feed from a drone-mounted camera. Viewers will be able to watch the races in broadcast form or, by using their own viewing goggles, through the sameperspective that the pilots see.
Drone racing gives anyone the ability to fly like a superhero, Dr. Scot Refsland, chairman of the IDRA, said in a statement. Because everyone can experience the thrill of racing as if they were sitting in the drone cockpit, the sport is skyrocketing.
The competition is undoubtedly becoming more popular. Last month, the World Drone Prix in Dubai offered $1 million in prizes to racers from around the world, including a 15-year-old who took home the top prize of $250,000.
H/T The Video Link
Screengrab via IDRA/YouTube (CC-BY)