My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Luke Bannister won the UAE's inaugural World Drone Prix as World Future Sports Games in December 2017

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

How Luke Bannister won the UAE's inaugural World Drone Prix as World Future Sports Games in December 2017

“The lights were awesome”

15-y-o Luke Bannister after he led his team 43 strong team Tornado X-Blades Banni UK to victory at the inaugural World Drone Prix in the UAE (United Arab Emirates)

Drone Racing seems to be becoming a thing.

The UAE (United Arab Emirates) had recently staged their inaugural World Drone Prix, which was held on Friday March 11th 2016 as reported in the article “Drone racing: Nascar in the sky”, published March 8, 2016, by Max Taves, CNET News
 
From March 2, 2016
The World Drone Prix, which took placed around a half-mile long illuminated track in Dubai, home of the Burj Khalifa, was won by 15-y-o Luke Bannister as reported in the article “15 year old wins $250K at World Drone Prix”, published Monday, 14 Mar 2016 by Alexandra Gibbs, CNBC News

He took home the grand prize of US$250,000 as the drone pilot for his 43 strong team Tornado X-Blades Banni UK on Saturday March 12th 2016.

The World Drone Prix has largest purse for Drone racing in the World, even bigger than the US Drone Nationals where the winner took home $25,000 as noted in the article “A teenager just won drone racing’s biggest ever prize”, published March 14, 2016 by Mike Murphy, Quartz

So how exactly does drone racing work?

UAE’s World Drone Prix – Robots get their own games at World Future Sports Games in December 2017

Basically the idea is that the Drone pilots, wearing FPV (First Persons Viewing) Goggles, pilot their craft around an illuminated obstacle course according to the World Organization of Racing Drones' rules and regulations on the event.
 
From March 2, 2016
Their FPV goggles allow them to see from the drone's point of view, making the flying experience as exhilarating as playing a first person video game as is evident from Luke Bannister's run.


With mad flying skills like that, it's no surprise that he beat out 150 other groups vying for the top prize as noted in “TAG Drones, Robotics, Unmanned Aerial Drone Watch The Final Race Of The World Drone Prix: 15-Year-Old Champ Takes Home $250,000” published March 14 2016 by Dave Calpito, Techtimes.

The World Drone Prix was organized by the World Organization of Racing Drones, as was done under the supervision of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, who chairs the city-state’s sports council.

The UAE also has plans to host a World Future Sports Games in December 2017 which will see robots competing in such sports as:

1.      Car racing
2.      Drone flying
3.      Running
4.      Swimming
5.      Wrestling

UAE is certainly embracing the future of drones, as was evident from their Drones for Good competition as described in my blog article entitled “United Arab Emirates starts Drones for Good Competition and How Jamaica can jumpstart Drone Designs”.

Truly this is a good start and it would be great to see something like this in Jamaica, preferable using the entire island as a racing track. Can't wait to see the robots in action at the World Future Sports Games in December 2017 as Drones and other Robots finally get the recognition they deserve.



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