The drone racing league is rising in popularity


Photo by MTC Campus

To students at Villanova University, Edmond Dougherty is an engineering professor. Outside the classroom, however, the entrepreneur founded Ablaze Development. The Villanova, Pennsylvania, venture creates prototypes of inventions to prove they work, including this model quadcopter. “It’s almost like an island of broken toys,” he said. (David Swanson/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

By Evan Ruderman, Round Table photo editor

With the rise in popularity of personal drones or quadcopters, Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins, envisions a completely new sport that would change how we feel about racing.

The new sport, drone racing, would utilize cameras on the quadcopters and virtual reality to make the driver feel as if they were actually inside the drone. Races could take place through forests, abandoned buildings, or whatever the racers can imagine. To make his dream a reality, Ross invested a million dollars into creating the Drone Racing League to turn his idea into a profitable business.

“It will be an awesome thing to see and get into,” said Middletown High School junior Austin Atherton. Middletown sophomore Lauren Harrington agreed with Atherton, calling it “cool and futuristic.”

“I think it’s pretty interesting,” said senior Nate Spector, who would like a drone of his own. “I think that any advancements in technology are good ones.”

However, not all students were excited about the new innovation. “I think he’s wasting his money,” said sophomore Grace Sheedy. “He could give it to people that are less fortunate instead.”

“I feel like it’s almost expected because people enjoy racing so much,” added sophomore Keirstin Renninger, “but I think they need to be used for better purposes.”