All photos by Gelo Gonzales/Rappler
SHANGHAI, China – At Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017, drone pilots from across the globe try to out-fly one another. Four drones participate in each race, attempting to post the best lap time. And doing so means a race victory.
In the attempt to post impressive lap times, though, some drones end up crashing – either to the floor or on the net enveloping the racing arena like a cage – to the delight of the audience. (WATCH: UK drone racer on first-person-view racing and building drones)
On the screen on the stage, the audience sometimes sees the view from behind the pilot goggles: a static-filled view of dizzying flying and the brightly-lit track showing the way. In the event of a spectacular crash, the race ends for a drone, waiting to be picked up by its pilot or plucked out by race staff using a tall, wheeled scaffolding.
The racetrack is eventually cleared – and the races begin again. Behind the scenes: pilots fix their broken drones, watch the races through their goggles, and just hang out, waiting for their turn to have another go at the challenging track.
See all of these in action in the video posted above. – Rappler.com