A startup thinks racing and fighting your friends' drones could be the next great outdoor sport
Game of Drones founder Marque Cornblatt laid out his vision for drone sports in a Demo Day presentation at Highway1, a hardware startup accelerator run by international electronics part maker PCH.
Basically, Cornblatt said, drones as they are today have issues. They're expensive, hard to set up, hard to fly, and most of all, they're fragile.Game of Drones sells its Hiro Action Sports drones for less than $500 (only $140 if you just want the chassis and want to build the rest yourself). Just take them out of the box and you're off to the races - literally.
In fact, Game of Drones has been running drone fight clubs and racing leagues in and around San Francisco since 2012, turning warehouses into Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdrone with warring remote control quadcopters.
After the presentation, Game of Thrones set up a drone fighting pit outside of Highway1's office. Watch these drones go a round:
(After this video was taken, the losing drone got right back up and got ready for a second round.)
Game of Drones is aiming to launch the second version of its drone, given the name FST (Flow State Tantrum), next year. The FST will include a camera, a screen in the controller, and a "flight school" training program for people to hone their drone-flying skills even when they're not on the practice field. Plus, the FST will let the drone directly broadcast battle video to competitive drone flying enthusiasts all over the world.
Going forward, Cornblatt says that he hopes his drones will emulates the success of professional competitive video gaming - better known as eSports - which has driven Amazon's Twitch live video streaming service to a huge-and-growing 55 million-plus monthly audience.