An adrenaline-fuelled, speed-filled night is on the cards for drone racers, digital geeks and robotics rogues this weekend at the University of Arizona’s iconic Biosphere 2, at a special event created in partnership with the Drone Racing League.
Throughout the day, enthusiasts of all things autonomous will have the chance to take in a special event at the hive-like building, with all eyes on tech of the future.
Part of the University of Arizona, the Biosphere 2 is a hub for scientific discovery and discussion, and while its appearance is like something from an alien planet, its focus is on promoting understanding of the Earth and its place within the universe.
Attendees can explore the facility, get their hands ‘drone and dirty’, while they learn about the science behind autonomous vehicles as well as how drones support the Earth, the science community and are becoming part of everyday life.
Presentations will also be conducted by the UA College of Engineering, UA Avirtek & Autonomic Computer Center, Barrow Neurological Institute, the Department of Public Safety and Project WET, showcasing the ways and reasons they use innovative technologies such as drones and robotics.
“Biosphere 2 provides a unique backdrop for this event,” said Joaquin Ruiz, director of Biosphere 2 and UA vice president for innovation. “It’s an ideal setting for evoking curiosity about a future where technologies that combine the physical and digital worlds are expanding in innovative and provocative ways.”
After the day is done, attendees can stay on to experience the excitement that is drone racing as the premier drone racing circuit Drone Racing League (DRL), stages their third race of the DRL Allianz World Championship Season for 2018.
As 12 elite drone pilots from the DRL compete at speeds of over 150kmh to win their way to the season final in Saudi Arabia, the audience will be treated to a theatrical light show as thousands of twinkling coloured LED lights bring the Biosphere 2 to life as never before.
Nicholas Horbaczewski, DRL founder and CEO is thrilled that DRL pilots will have the chance to race at the Biosphere 2. “As we scout the globe for the most iconic and visually stunning locations to host our complex, three-dimensional racing events, we knew we had to bring a 2018 season race to the world’s largest earth science facility.
“Integrating the planet’s most breathtaking landscapes, including an ocean, a rainforest and the desert, within an architecturally spectacular enclosed ecosystem, Biosphere 2 looks like nothing we’ve ever done before.
“Plus, as a tech company at our core, we value STEM education and supporting programs that inspire new understandings about drones,” Horbaczewski said.
In that vein, there will also be a continuing-education course on drones, robotics and AI for more than 20 K-12 teachers, who will get the chance to tour the DRL course and have a go at absorbing some cool flying techniques from DRL pilots.
“This is an exciting opportunity to bring together the futuristic worlds of drone racing and Biosphere 2 to engage the next generation,” said John Adams, deputy director at Biosphere 2. “Biosphere 2 has been inspiring people for nearly three decades to think broadly about our world and our place in it. This event helps the University of Arizona connect the world of Biosphere 2 with the emerging future.”
If you’re in the neighbourhood and want to head on over to check it all out, make sure you get your tickets here. To see what all the excitement of drone racing is about, watch the video: