September 24, 2020 9:47 pm

Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Explores the Drone Racing League with Founder/CEO Nicholas Horbaczewski

We couldn’t do just one episode on the Drone Racing League (DRL). One of the most exciting new sports in modern times simply can’t be explored in a single episode (check out our first episode here). So, this week on StarTalk Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice are ready to dive even further into the DRL.

Drone Racing League’s Photo of a Drone Sitting on a Podium.

Image Credit: Drone Racing League.

Our first guest is probably the person who knows the most about DRL…because they started the league five years ago. We sit down with Nicholas Horbaczewski, founder and CEO of Drone Racing League. You’ll find out how Nicholas got the idea to create the DRL and how he had to manage extremely high expectations.

You’ll hear how the DRL embraces new technology. Discover more about the DRL pilots: how they practice and how the league keeps everything on an even playing field. Nicholas explains how they use their simulator to recruit new pilots. And, we investigate how the rise in Esports contributed to the success of DRL.

We discuss how modern technology enabled an idea like DRL to happen. In our second segment, Marilyn Smith, PhD, Director of the Georgia Tech Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence and Professor at the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, joins us to explore the science behind the drones. We also explore the history of the helicopter. Marilyn tells us about the process behind creating the simulator for DRL.

In our final segment, Nicholas re-joins us to ponder the future of DRL. Where will it be in five years? You’ll hear how the league got a bump in viewership due to the pandemic and lack of sports broadcasting. You’ll hear how DRL is recruiting and creating an entire audience. Lastly, we discuss the importance of authenticity. All that, plus Nicholas shares his philosophy on the “lean in, lean out” viewing experience.

Please join us tomorrow for Building a Virtual World: Drone Racing League at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
– Ian Mullen

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