Drone racing suffers from low membership

Adviser looks to recruit

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Finn Baron

Potential drone racing members watch adviser Mark Miller explain what drone racing is Oct. 13. Drone Racing’s next meeting is Oct. 27.

Adam Gips and Aidan Shafton

After adviser Mark Miller’s only two drone pilots graduated last year, he is looking to regenerate an empty drone racing team. 

“I’m hoping to start to rebuild the high school team. I lost my only two high school pilots last year. We had a pretty successful middle school group of kids — about 12. It’s all about years of practice,” Miller said. “If I can get some ninth graders and middle schoolers to start flying, in two or three years, hopefully we can have a team again. We’re going to be hurting a little bit this year.”

For junior club member Denly Lindeman, he said his passion for engineering is what inspired him to join the drone racing club. 

Just try it, come in. Don’t don’t get worried about the cost of things. I have a lot of stuff that we can do (at) no cost. There’s a simulator that you can practice with if you’re scared about flying a little drone.”

— Mark Miller

“I’m interested in engineering so I was really interested in how I can do more of an applied engineering, and it seems there’s a lot of drone fixing when you crash into something,” Lindeman said.

Miller said he has fallen in love with the sport and wants others to see the magic in it.

“Honestly, I love the competition. Watching the kids learn how to fly, fix their drones, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. And then when you get kids going head to head with drone racing, it’s (amazing),” Miller said. “I wouldn’t think (I would like it) because I don’t love video games. But when I first experienced drone racing, it was an absolute blast watching the kids race. I just want others to see how (great it is).”

According to freshman and new member Victor Wagener, he is looking to learn the basics with drone racing.

“I just like flying drones. That’s really it. I’m also a huge fan of tech stuff and this just seems really cool,” Wagener said. “I’m just looking forward to trying to get good times on the courses we set up and just learning how to fly the drone in general.”

Miller emphasized new students should try out the club given there are many free resources.

“Just try it, come in. Don’t don’t get worried about the cost of things. I have a lot of stuff that we can do (at) no cost,” Miller said. “There’s a simulator that you can practice with if you’re scared about flying a little drone.”

For more information on how to join, the next drone racing meeting is 3:20 p.m. Oct. 27 in room B136.