Indoor micro-drone racing!

Yeah, it’s a thing now.

A group called FPV Ottawa has started up the area’s first indoor drone racing league. Up to four racers at a time fly mini-quads around an indoor make-shift obstacle course.

The drones are so small they can fit in the palm of your hand, just big enough to carry a small analog camera and transmitter. The pilots don’t actually look at the drones they’re racing. They look through them via an optical headset, getting a drone’s eye view of the course they’re flying through.

“It’s kind of like a real-life video game,” says Dylan Nord of FPV Ottawa. “You get the feeling of flight while actually not leaving your seat.”

For many of the participants, the indoor league is simply a way get their drone racing fix during the winter months.  FPV also organizes outdoor drone racing in the summer, with larger UAV’s that can travel well in excess of 100 km/h.  “This is just something to keep our thumbs in check and in shape over the winter months. But we're really looking forward to getting back in the racing once the snow's gone,” says drone enthusiast Chris D’Aoust.

FPV Ottawa isn’t just about racing drones. They also offer basic drone training and education courses as well as advanced courses on how to build and fly racing drones.

"It's kind of a niche hobby right now’” says Dylan Nord. “We're hoping to grow it and educate people all about drones."