Xtreme Drone Circuit welcomes Solar Drones at CES

January 04, 2016 by Power Pulse1595211359

Drone pilot Jon Casey, Canadian Drone Nationals Champion, will be competing in the Xtreme Drone Circuit (XDC) at CES 2016 flying a bright yellow drone charged with 100% solar energy. Through a partnership with SunPort, Casey hopes to introduce this emerging sport to an innovative technology that allows solar energy to be used anywhere, anytime.

In this emerging, high-tech sport, solar energy fits naturally. Some large races, including the XDC, have panels on site so that pilots can charge with solar. Casey, however, has taken sustainability one step further. Using SunPort, he powers his drone and equipment with solar everywhere he goes – races big and small, even practice.

“All solar, all the time. I think it’s fantastic. Everybody should be doing this,” says Casey.

Casey, who got into drone racing several years ago following a serious injury, is quickly gaining a following. A recent win at the Canadian Nationals resulted in invitations to several high profile races around the world. Although drone racing does not yet have a worldwide governing body, it is quickly developing and organized competitions draw strong attention from both the public and the media.

“Jon is an amazing ambassador. We want to make solar fun, and what could be more fun than a solar powered drone that goes 80 miles per hour?” says Paul Droege, SunPort founder and CEO.

Drone pilots race by tracking their drone through special video goggles that see the race from the drone’s perspective— a dynamic known as First Person View (FPV). It’s like being on board the racing drone. In addition, the audience can experience the pilot’s perspective through the use of multiple big-screen TVs on site that simulcast the FPV. This innovative approach makes it easy for the audience to identify various drones, teams, time trials and other elements of the competition that drive the adrenaline rush higher and higher.

“As much as anything, this event is about having fun and supporting drone racing enthusiasts who until now really haven’t had such a cool, well-organized venue in which to race,” Mark Rowland, CEO of DTP Ventures said. “These drone pilots have become amazingly adroit at maneuvering their racing drones through race courses that often include narrow, confined spaces and incredibly close proximity to other racing drones. Sure, there are occasional crashes, but feelings are the only thing that might get hurt.”