EPFL will open its doors to the public from 31 August to 2 September for the second annual EPFL Drone Days. This family-friendly dronefest will feature aerial races, workshops, expert speakers, demos and a chance for visitors to get in the virtual cockpit.
Piloting a drone using special immersive goggles is probably the next best thing to flying like a bird – and the public will be able to try it out at the upcoming EPFL Drone Days 2018. This three-day event, which starts in less than two weeks, is designed to explore drones in all their wonder. It will be held on the campus of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and is being run in partnership with the World Air Sports Federation (FAI), the Swiss Rotor Sports Association (SRSA) and the EPFL Aéropoly association. This is the second edition of EPFL Drone Days, which drew some 5,000 visitors in 2017.
This year, hands-on experience will take front and center. Visitors will be given the chance to fly a drone using FPV (first-person view) goggles that give the pilot a cockpit view thanks to an onboard camera. In addition, simulation flights will let daredevils test their skills on a virtual race course and vie for a speed record. Visitors will also have several opportunities to win a drone of their own.
The three days will be packed with activities for young and old alike. These include a weekend-long robotics showcase highlighting the latest innovations by EPFL and local companies, together with workshops, demos and much more. Entrance is free, and advance sign-up is only required for guided tours and the Robopoly workshop. Click here for more information.
A hair-raising race
The spectacular speed contest, which was one of the highlights of last year’s Drone Days, is on this year’s schedule too. More than 60 pilots from around the world will be competing in the EPFL Drone Racing Cup, a sanctioned event in the FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2018. Qualifying rounds are on Saturday, and the final will be held on Sunday. Also on Saturday, a night race on an illuminated course will be open to all – electric atmosphere guaranteed!
Expert speakers from around the world
On Friday and Saturday, the Rolex Learning Center Forum will host a series of FAI talks organized in conjunction with Lausanne Tourisme. Experts from all over the world will share their thoughts – in English – on drone racing, safety and innovation. Anyone keen to learn more about drones is encouraged to attend. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available here: www.fai.org/drones-conference-registration.
There is no charge for attending EPFL Drone Days.