Racing drones are not just for racing anymore but can also serve to broadcast fast-paced outdoor sports events in real time.
This has been demonstrated by the organizers of the Natural Selection Tour, a live backcountry snowboarding event where athletes ride and jump through almost impassable terrain. Conventional methods of filming such sporting events have usually fallen short of capturing their true nature because of the riders’ speed, their unpredictable movements, and safety concerns for broadcasting staff following the professional snowboarders downslope.
Notably, the Natural Selection Tour’s organizers have adapted a racing drone in a way for it to stay nimble enough to maneuver through forests, strong enough to carry broadcast-quality cameras, and capable of both sending a strong video signal and processing footage with stabilization software. During the live broadcast itself, one pilot and one camera person are operating the system with the performance required by these two staff members being athlete-like as well.
In the future, other outdoor sports such as rally-car racing or mountain biking could be shot by racing drones as well. This would enable a third-person point of view, video-game-like broadcast that is thrilling for viewers and could give outdoor sports a renewed popularity boost.
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