FPV Drone Racing has grown in popularity in the past few years all over the world. Recently we caught up with Karan Kamdar, founder of Indian Drone Racing League to know more about this sport and understand about the Indian drone racing scene. When asked about how he happened to start IDRL, he says that in 2016 he had founded 1 Martian Way, a company dedicated to building drone video analysis software. At that time drone racing was already happening in India but it was spread in small pockets across the country and there was no umbrella organization to oversee the sport. Around that time itself, his company was approached by IIT Gandhinagar for conducting drone racing. So they agreed to conduct the event and were surprised by the amount of registrations they received. Ultimately 25-30 pilots participated in the race and the event turned out to be a grand success. That made the 1 Martian Way team realize the potential of this sport and they decided to set up the IDRL brand to conduct events in future.
Karan mentions that as of now there around 1000 registered pilots on IDRL website and each event sees a participation from 15-20 pilots on average. The upcoming events include a night drone race at IIT Madras and India’s biggest drone race at the Bengaluru Tech Summit. Apart from conducting drone racing events, IDRL also operates a marketplace and a forum where they see active participation from drone enthusiasts around the country.
Terming the recently announced regulations as mostly progressive, Karan says he is optimistic about the future of drones and drone racing in India. It now remains to be seen how quickly the enthusiasts of India adopt this high-tech sport of drone racing which promises to follow the lucrative path of e-sports.