Drone / August 10, 2018 / Sanni Pekkarinen
Although there is not a limitation on the model or make of the drone you bring to the contest it is a good idea to see what other racers are using so that you can also get a suitable machine for this purpose. Here are some of the features you should consider when shopping for a racing drone: Speed: Anything that participates in a racing contest needs to be fast and agile. What good is an extremely sophisticated machine with all the latest features and a high-resolution camera which is not fast? A rule of thumb is to get a drone that can easily go over 35mph and in some situations even cross 50mph speed. To realize this level of speed you are also going to need powerful batteries and higher voltages than normal drones.
Keep in mind that while launching the Drone is relatively quick and easy landing and retrieving the Drone can be very challenging and consume all of the remaining battery capacity. Drone Batteries - most if not all batteries used for Drones and their controllers are LIPO batteries and are subject to generating a great deal of heat and require very specific charging and storage techniques. LIPO batteries should be transported in special foil packages and definitely not in the Drone. Special chargers are required to charge LIPO batteries. Additionally it may take up to 2 hours to recharge depleted batteries so the Drone operator should be sure primary and spare batteries are charged when the operator and Drone arrive aboard. The Operator should allow enough time to recharge the batteries after use. Operators should consider purchasing a multi-battery charger.
Most if not all Drones today utilize GPS. Other Drones use a hand-held or wrist mounted device so the Drone can "home in" on the controller or other device location. Newer Drones incorporate a combination of Optical Recognition and the GPS location of the controller. The latest DJI Drone has a down-looking camera that takes thousands of photos as it takes off and then compares the photos to the landing location. In my opinion this is fantastic technology if you are using the Drone from a moving yacht or boat! Another feature that newer Drones incorporate is object collision technology that allows the Drone to "see" and avoid ships sides radar arches and other structures that may interfere with the flight or landing.