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F1 in the air: Drone racing at WRC 2017

By Zhu Lingqing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-24 15:10

Taking off, accelerating to high speed, making sharp turns…drones controlled by pilots took part in one-of-a-kind race at the first China Drone Racing held on the sideline of the World Robot Conference in Beijing on Thursday.

The pilots, wearing goggles or head-mounted displays, operated their drones from the "pilot's seat" with radio controllers. The technology allowed them to experience the real-time scene as faced by the drone in the air.

"I haven't seen this kind of race before, the players were very professional," Yi Ruizhi, a sophomore from Beihang University who watched the event, said.

Drones taking part in the speed competition had to fly through all kinds of obstacles within a prescribed flight path.

As the speed of drone can reach 100 kilometers per hour, some described the race as Formula 1 in the air.

More than 30 teams from across China took part in the event.

The race will run until Sunday. Visitors can also look at various kinds of drones on display.

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