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“Drone racing is the ‘carrot.’ Once you have their attention, the aerial robotics platform provides a total STEM solution for students.” - Robert Grover, EVP of PCS Edventures
The brainchild of PCS Edventures and MultiGP Drone Racing, The Scholastic Drone Racing League is the world’s first UAV racing league to come to Junior and Senior High Schools across the United States. While the league's development is still ongoing, this past spring, MultiGP showcased its world-class race management skill, and its ability to tap into new and incredible drone arenas with the first ever National Collegiate Championship, a FPV racing tournament held at Purdue University with over 28 other colleges. As stated in their recap:
College sports history was made last weekend with the first ever Collegiate Drone Racing Championship, which was hosted by Purdue University. MultiGP was honored to sanction and officiate this event, which was a preview of the 2018 Collegiate Drone Racing Series, scheduled to take place at colleges across the nation next year. This inaugural event drew 48 collegiate drone racing pilots from 26 colleges and universities to compete in both team and individual events, to see which school, and which pilot, were the fastest.
There are three essential parts to a MultiGP Drone Race:
RaceSync - Frequency Management Software:
MultiGP has developed proprietary software that assigns racing slots and video frequencies in real time. Pilots create a profile within MultiGP.com and then add their aircraft with their unique hardware combinations. Then, on race day, they use their smartphones and check-in when they arrive. They are assigned their race slot and optimum video frequency as to not interfere with the other pilot’s video signal. Through this software, the event director immediately knows who is in each race and what channel they are expected to transmit on. Pilots are also informed of the other pilots who will be transmitting on the same frequency throughout the day so they can manage these transfers on their own.
MultiGP has developed racing gates that are simple to transport and setup. They are specific dimensions so chapters can easily accommodate sponsor panels when applicable.
Racing against each other is a blast, but timing how fast you are actually finishing laps is critical to competing on a larger scale and bettering your skills. The MultiGP system is installed on the start/finish gate and automatically tracks each pilot's lap time through a small and lightweight sensor. Pilots simply install the sensor to their aircraft and all data is streamed to a laptop where it is managed appropriately.
Earlier this May, an initial drone community survey was conducted, and over 170 applicants responded, submitting resumes and qualifications to aid in the expansion of the Scholastic League and Discover Drones program. These were the results:
It certainly is an exciting time in the high-flying landscape of drones, and PCS Edventures is thrilled to be at the forefront of the biggest innovation in sports since the invention of the football helmet.
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