At Dialexa, we get excited about technology, but sometimes we can get a little jaded too. That is why it is hard to impress us. Late one Friday afternoon, that rule was broken when we launched our Drone Racetrack in the office. I like to call Nathan Gingrich the mad scientist of Dialexa.  He is the guy with 12 monitors. He is the guy that built his own lightsaber. He is the “owner” of all or Virtual Reality gear. He is the guy that buys all the latest drones. And Nathan is the guy that put together our Drone Racetrack.  

On that day, we were sitting around our blue couches and drinking a few beers (as we are sometimes known to do late on a Friday). Suddenly, we were getting buzzed overhead by a small drone and we could see on our big screen projector TV, exactly where that drone was flying, from a first person point of view. In fact, it was soon apparent that Nathan was flying the drone from behind the virtual reality goggles he was wearing.  

And the best part… the drone was making a loop around the office, darting through hula hoops that Nathan had strategically hung from our cable racks. It was mesmerizing - like a mini version of the speeder bike chase on the moon of Endor. Soon the entire office was watching and, when Nathan came around for the last loop and landed gracefully on the desk right in front of him, that jaded group of engineers and UX designers and management erupted in a spontaneous round of applause. It was that fun -- even to watch it.

Drone Races from Dialexa on YouTube.

How can you build a Drone Racetrack of your own? Here is the simple recipe:
  1. BLADE FPV Nano RTF QX Quadcopter 
  2. Spektrum ultra micro FPV camera installed
  3. Fat Shark Teleporter V4 5.8GHz headset with digital head tracking
  4. A few hula hoops 

Drone_Kit.jpg

Put up the hoola hoops, launch your drone (available at Amazon in a package for $420), practice flying and then take your drone through your newly installed Drone Racetrack. Get two of these and you can race against each other! We hooked the analog wireless antenna into a receiver which we attached to our projection TV in order to broadcast the race in real time.

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What is next for this project? We have a lot of fun things we are working on, so this is somewhat on the back burner. Nathan plans to come back and add a tracking device into each hula hoop - proof of concept underway with parts ordered, but we have not put it together yet. If you have pictures or stories from your own Drone Racetrack, please share in the comments below.

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