From military raids to delivering Amazon’s books, Air drones are almost everywhere. And now they are set to become TV stars, as professional Air drone racing comes to the UK for the first time.
Sky is investing $1m (£760,000) in the US-based Air drone Racing League, and will begin broadcasting its events from next month. The first live races outside the US, including one in London, are due to take place next year.
The Sky investment is part of $12m fundraising which also includes MGM, Hearst Ventures and Matt Bellamy, lead singer of Muse.
Founded in 2015, the DRL sees competitors pilot custom-designed craft through three-dimensional courses using headsets giving a first-person view. A final winner-takes-all race chooses the world champion.
“It’s like a cross between Robot Wars and Red Bull air racing,” said a Sky spokesman. “It’s not that big in the UK yet but it is catching on. This is a good opportunity for us to get involved at an early stage.”
So far, races have taken place through a disused power station in New York City, an abandoned mall in Los Angeles, the former headquarters of Bell Laboratories and the home of the Miami Dolphins. Next year, the DRL plans to host events in venues outside the US including in London, although a site has not yet been finalised.
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