Drone racing is becoming a big business, not to mention an impressive spectacle, and two of the world's best pilots recently showcased this and their skills by expertly slinging drones around an obstacle course that would leave the average owner wincing.
As a robotic arm holds a chequered flag to set flying machines racing around a stunt course controlled by robotic-like pilots wearing virtual reality goggles you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the future, or a sci-fi movie. It isn't. It's being dubbed Dronekhana – an aerial take on the gymkhana made popular by racer Ken Block who drifted a rally car around obstacles with breath-taking precision.
Here, 16-year-old World Drone Prix champion Luke Bannister along with fellow racer Brett Collins tackled a course set up by Ford where they had to impressively fly at high-speed through and under vehicles, around a drifting Focus RS and squeezing between moving forklift trucks. One section of the course sees the dual drones perfectly time flying under an opening boot door.
All the action was captured by 36 GoPro cameras and compiled into a video with parts given a Matrix-style bullet-time slow motion effect showing off the blink-and-you'll miss them drones and, of course, the Ford cars, which is really what this is stunt was about.
The pint-sized pilots wore special goggles that gave them a first-person view from the drone to help them navigate at speed. "It's basically like stepping into the cockpit. It was a tough course and we had some mishaps – but at least the Mustang's all right, that's all that matters," said Bannister.
IBTimes UK spent time with Luke Bannister earlier in 2016 following his £175,000 ($250,000) prize win in Dubai as we witnessed the rise of first-person drone racing take off in what could become the Formula 1 of the skies.
The Dronekhana was filmed at Ford's European headquarters in Cologne, Germany where, coincidentally, Gamescom is kicking off this week where it will invite gamers to attempt a world record for longest video game marathon on a racing game. Gamers will have to race for 48 hours and 1min on Forza Motorsport 6 to take the new title. Let's just hope they asked their parents' permission first.