Drone racing which is also known as the FPV (First-Person View) Drone Racing is a very popular sport across the world where the participants rely on their personal self-controlled aircrafts or drones to win in a certain race. Despite making its way as a mere amateur sport in Australia four years ago, nowadays you would find a significant number of people willing to take part in this game due to its very engaging and competitive nature. The drones used for such racing are usually radio controlled aircrafts, popularly known as quadcopters. These aircrafts are often equipped with high quality cameras so that the participants can see the surrounding area of the drone through live streaming.
As exciting as it sounds, if you want to take part in a world famous drone racing contest or even in smaller ones, you would require a considerable skill and knowledge about the technology. It is a common custom among the racers to build their own racing aircraft with proper equipment. Therefore, a thorough understanding about the intrinsic technology is required. Here, the technology of drone racing is discussed along with a few other key factors that a drone racer must keep in mind.
The Technology behind Drone Racing:
From a technological perspective, racing drones are very much different from surveillance drones. In case of a surveillance drone, the designers mainly concentrate on its hovering function so that it can offer a panoramic footage of the surroundings. However, in case of racing drones, the focus is kept on its speed and forward movement rather than hovering. Racing drones have their motors configured in H-pattern rather than surveillance drone’s X-pattern. As a result, this configuration offers much better forward propulsion that a racing drone requires. Moreover, these drones usually come with 3 or 4 propellers with short diameter. The short diameter allows better manoeuvrability for the racer along with augmented acceleration.
The FPV drones are tailor-made to provide live footage only to the racer. The camera is usually mounted on the nose of the drone that transmits images via radio waves to the participant at a frequency range of 2.4-5.8 GHz. The participant has to wear goggles to receive this transmission and fly his/her drone accordingly. In the past few years, the viewing goggles have been developed tremendously with a significant number of better features. Nowadays, moderately expensive viewing goggles come with features like head tracking, FOV (Field of View), receiver diversity, DVR (Digital Video Recorder) recording functions, and many more.
Things to Keep in Mind before Participating:
Being conversant with the racing drone’s technology would help you select the most suitable quadcopter for your race. However, there are other aspects of drone racing that are equally important and cannot be ignored. The following tips might be helpful for a successful drone racing:
- Practising on Simulators: Simulators offer a simulacrum of the actual race so that the participants can get acclimatised with the rules and techniques of drone racing. You would find various quality FPV simulators in the market which would help you in devising a failsafe strategy for the actual race.
- Mastering the Basic FPV Orientation: Practising on a simulator would provide you knowledge about controlling and manoeuvring the drone. However, to imbibe all the FPV orientations, you would need to fly your drone in an open place. Practising with a real drone would provide you with the experience and ambiance of the real race. You must focus on the FPV simulated movements like moving to the right or left in incommodious areas along with basic multi-rotor flight proficiency.
- Customising Your Drone: Once you get acquainted with the nuances of drone racing technology, you would be able to figure out whether you need a DIY (Do It Yourself) drone where you would have to build your racer from scratch or an RTF (Ready to Fly) drone that comes with all necessary features. For both types of drones, you would need to know your drone inside and out to maintain your control under all circumstances. Also, for different competitions, you could customise your drone accordingly with new innovative features.
- Tweak Your Settings: Tweaking the settings of your drone is a very important step before any racing. According to the nature of the race, the quality of other participants, and the venue you would need to tinker your drone settings to get a slight edge over others.
- Overcoming Obstacles: Once you master the FPV orientation, you would need to learn flying through obstacles to complete your preparation. For this, use natural landscapes like trees or flags as potential landscapes and try to fly through them without crashing. This would also give you an idea about the manoeuvrability function of your drone.
By taking these points into account and assimilating the technology of racing drones, you can easily take part in drone racing competitions of various standards.