Piloting a drone requires a skill that grows with experience, like everything in life, and the result of hours and hours of training can create very attractive experiences for any spectator.
As this activity becomes more popular, the games and hobbies become more professional, and there is a sport, called Drone Soccer, that makes that clear.
Kyle Sanders is the Vice President of US Drone Soccer, former United States Air Force fighter pilot. The sport was introduced to South Korea in 2016 and has moved to the United States as an educational and fun sport.
To practice it, it is not enough to know how to pilot drones, score goals and collide with others. You have to know how to build, program, fly and repair high-performance drones. The participating drones are protected with an exoskeleton. The teams can be three against three or five against five, in an arena with a net, as shown in the image above, from dronesoccer.us.
Drone soccer is a combination of drone flying and playing soccer. The two groups of drone pilots face off at each end of a cage, representing the soccer field. At each end are the goals, two rings suspended by ropes.
The soccer balls are drones equipped with 360-degree protection, which ensures that the drones can crash without any damage. The exoskeletons that surround the drones are equipped with LED lights of different colors to identify the ball of each team and are made of carbon fiber. The pilots must fly the team’s soccer drone towards the goal at the opposite end of the cage. Only one drone can fly through the ring, leaving the rest of the drones to attack and defend each other.
The first Drone Soccer tournament in North America will be held in Colorado Springs this July, they are already working on training for students in the area.
A bit of football history for drones
The first international Drone Soccer tournament, “Robo Universe Drone Soccer Competition 2018”, was held on June 30, 2018 in Goyang City. More than three hundred people from twenty-two teams competed for the winning trophy. By 2025, their goal is to host the drone soccer World Cup series in Jeonju. Perhaps in the coming years soccer teams will come to compete with drones from all over the world.
During Amsterdam Drone Week 2019, the innovative sport of drones was also highlighted. Event organizer Patrick Coumans said drone football was introduced to the Netherlands at the December event and was quite successful.
Without a doubt, a new trend that we will see more and more often.