Drones at Races

This article about using drone-bots for photography at road races piqued my interest (as well as that of Melissa who sent me the article.)

drone-reuters-lgCould these be used at MUT races with open trails (parts of Leadville, Lake Sonoma, and Hardrock come to mind) to get real time footage of the race?  In the right hands, these could be a huge benefit to our community. Check out this video for an example of what views we could soon have and imagine the awesome perspective of the runners and the scenery from a new angle.

If they have real time capabilities–and I’m not sure if they do–we could actually watch parts of races we’d never get to see otherwise.

But…

Would they bother the runners? What if, instead of being used by a runner-friendly photographer, they were being used by a photographer hired by a corporate sponsor to get footage?  Who has the rights to the air 50 feet above the trail?

I’ve watched these launch, and they are LOUD. Imagine 4 to 6 weed trimmers going on full speed at once.  For those who prefer the sound of nature, these copters would drown it out immediately.

Would the benefits outweigh the cost? The obvious answer is that for those running the race, the quadcopters would be a lot more apparent than those sitting at home enjoying the real benefits of the footage, right?

Will these be an issue in the future as their costs come down and they’re more readily available? When will JB Benna or Matt Trappe get one?  For guys like that, soon, I hope.

Thoughts?

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