Mumbai: SMAAASH Drone League will be India’s 1st premier international-level drone racing league and will be hosted in Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai on 21st and 22nd April, 2018. This league will continue to be hosted every month at SMAAASH centres across the country. The unique and exciting feature of this league is that there will be FPV drone racing where FPV stands for first-person view or first person video. In this sport, the participants or the ‘pilots’ control “drones” that are equipped with cameras while wearing head-mounted displays, showing the live stream camera feed from the drones. Similar to full size air racing the goal is to complete a set course as quickly as possible.
The league will showcase pro Indian pilots like Siddharth Nayak, Ritvik Nesargi, Raman Verma. It will also be streamed live on SMAAASH’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. All those who will be visiting Kamala Mills to view the race will also get a chance to try their hand at Drone Racing. SMAAASH will be providing the drones and FPV goggles to all the enthusiasts coming for the live race on the 21st April. Winners of these amateur drone racers will get to fly with professional pilots.
SMAAASH will also soon be launching an international Drone Racing Championship in India with top international flyers for which Maharashtra Tourism has proudly joined hands to promote. The race is being planned to be conducted in an iconic place in Maharashtra in consultation with Maharashtra Tourism. SMAAASH will also select top Indian pilots to represent the country in the international drone event at the end of the first season.
The league is the brainchild of Chief Imagination Officer, Shripal Morakhia, who envisions drone racing to be ‘The Future of Motor Sports’. Towards the launch of the SMAAASH Drone Championship,Shripal Morakhia, Chief Imagination Officer & Chairman of SMAAASH Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, commented, “This is a huge leap forward for drone racing in India powered by SMAAASH. This is the only sport which is truly age and gender neutral. In a single race of 8 pilots you will see kids from 10 years of age to 45 year old adults racing against each other. There are no separate heats for men and women, hence making it a true test of skill. I look forward to enjoying all the action from the competition alongside drone racing fans across the country.”
SMAAASH will also be unveiling their all new drone based games that will be permanently available at SMAAASH Mumbai center from April 21st. The audience coming in on 21st and 22nd April will get to try out these Drone Based Games – Speedy Soccer, Drone Castle Race and others. Drone Castle race is a race between 2 rolling drones which are remote controlled. They race in a defined path and have to reach the castle by jumping over all the obstacles in the path. One who reaches the castle first is the winner and their flag is hoisted automatically in the castle. This is a super exciting game and a perfect example of such drone based games can be a great way for kids to improve their hand eye coordination.
Drone racing began as an amateur sport in Australia in late 2014. In 2016, Luke Bannister, a 16 year old boy won the Dubai Grand Prix which had a prize pool of USD 1M. 2018 World Champion was also a teenager from Australia, Thomas Bitmatta.
SMAAASH plans to put Indian pilots on the world Drone map and have a world champion from India by 2020.