Drone Racing Wants to Become a Professional Sport
The Drone Racing League just got $1 million from Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross
By: Danny Lewis
It was only a matter of time before people started racing drones.
For the past several years, drones have constantly been in the news, whether they’re helping save people lost in the wilderness, bombing ISIS fighters, or being shot out of the sky over people’s backyards. But now some drone enthusiasts are trying to elevate their hobby into a professional sport.
In recent years, small groups of pilots have gotten together to race their homemade drones through courses built in forests and abandoned buildings. And these aren’t just toy helicopters – pilots navigate around branches and gates at speeds up to 70 miles an hour, all the while watching the action through special goggles connected to cameras on their drones, which many say makes them feel like they are actually flying.
“I think anybody with any imagination gets into it,” pilot Ryan Gury tells Johnette Howard for ESPN. “You defy gravity. You feel like a superhero.”
Gury works as the newly-minted Drone Racing League’s chief of product, designing race courses for the fledgling professional league. While the DRL may have started out as one of many small hobbyist leagues, it not only hosted it’s first nation championships, but also got a hefty boost this week in the form of a $1 million investment from Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Howard writes.
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