This Custom Drone Whooshes Closer to the Snowboarding Action

There was nonetheless one final drawback to resolve: dwell transmission. Broadcasting dwell would require sending a wi-fi sign from the drone to Uncle Toad’s manufacturing compound, and from there to the world. This was a tough proposition on a website of such scale, and with so many obstacles (timber, jumps, boulders) for the sign to get round.

Early iterations of the setup used an RF-enabled broadcast digicam which, as Griffin explains, didn’t work properly sufficient. “It just didn’t have the depth of field and dynamic range required to deal with the contrast between foreshadowed areas like trees and snow, which is obviously brilliantly bright and reflective.”

The GoPros the group was utilizing may higher seize the dynamic vary required, in order that they labored with GoPro to “hack” a Hero 10 camera to make it output dwell video—one thing GoPros aren’t designed to do. Next, they introduced in RF Wireless, dwell sports activities broadcast specialists who used their distinctive expertise to iron out the sign transmission drawback.

To function the system, the pilot and digicam particular person stand facet by facet. The pilot flies the drone, navigating the course, avoiding obstacles similar to timber, and turning the digicam to guarantee the rider stays in the body. The digicam operator’s job is to pitch the digicam up and down in response to the snowboarder’s particular actions.

Given the complexity of this relationship, and the want for each group members to have the opportunity to anticipate the riders’ actions as they navigate the course, Gab hand-picked expert FPV pilots with a powerful understanding of snowboarding. No surprise the groups have been as exhausted as the riders by the finish of every contest.


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“Piloting is very, very draining, because you have to concentrate so hard,” Kocher says. “I always say it takes an athletic performance to film the athletes. We talk to each other throughout the whole thing, working out the shot and the angles. And, of course, we’re hooting and hollering when the athlete lands something cool.”

At the Jackson Hole and British Columbia legs of the 2022 tour, Rice and Griffin’s imaginative and prescient was realized.

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