ESL’s Stuart Ewen on Drone Racing + VR’s Future Iterations

Stuart Ewen Product Manager at ESL talks about the future of Drone Racing w/ Mark Register.

Mark – What are your thoughts on Drone Racing?

Stuart – I love it.

I think that you can definitely combine VR & Drone Racing as well.

I know that a couple of years ago that people have been releasing stereoscopic first person cameras for micro quadcopters, and you can wear a VR headset with them. But obviously since you’re controlling that, it’s a bit easier to cope with. If someone else is controlling it… it’s probably not going to be so good.

I love where the DRL is going with what they’re doing, I just hope they’re able to broadcast it live someday.

It’s an interesting concept. It’s not an Esport but it’s also not a real sport, it’s somewhere in between and I don’t think I can put my finger on it really… but it’s an amazing experience. I hope that someday people can understand what it’s like to be flying along in a little quadcopter going a perceived 200 KM/hour.

It’s as close to pod racing from Star Wars as I can get currently. I love it.

I built commercial drones, they’re not very fast, but I was just enamored with the process of building it and flying it… even at slower speeds carrying payloads essentially. It was a lot of fun.

Doing high speed racing style, drone racing… it’s awesome.

Mark – Do you think it will expand from just flying around to doing things like picking up payloads?

Stuart – Absolutely. There are tons of stunt flyers out there that are… they are Wizards. I could never hope to do what they do. They’re doing flips, flying through derelict buildings… all kinds of crazy stunts that not even a Red Bull air racer pilot could pull off.

In such a small space and reacting to it in first person is incredible.

I think if it’s going to get bigger the commercial drone laws around the world, they’re holding it back quite a bit.

Because these things are flying lawnmowers essentially so I can understand why they want to restrict their use… but at the same time… it’s a hell of a lot of fun so please let us do it.

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