Come Watch Brett Velicovich Race Drones At Dew Tour

Brett V. is the cofounder and CEO of drone-consulting company Dronepire and its retail subsidiary, Expert Drones. Once deeply involved in the US drone program, he’s not ready to talk about that yet—“I worked for some organizations that folks probably don’t even know exist,” is about all he’ll say for now.

He will, however, spill his secrets in an upcoming memoir, which is already being developed into a movie by director Michael Bay’s production company.

In the meantime, Velicovich is excited to talk about his work with the drone-enabled anti-poaching effort the African Eye Project. He will also be appearing at Dew Tour in Long Beach, California, where drones will be racing on a custom-made course.

Here’s what Velicovich had to say about the (interplanetary!) future of drone technology:

The Future of the Sport

I very much see the day when drone racing becomes an international sport, like F1, where you’ve got crowds of people filling stadiums to watch. You’ve really got everything in drone racing: the speed, the agility, the best gear. You’ve got sponsorships, you’ve got huge crashes.

The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Seen a Drone Do…

I saw a video of a drone that somebody had outfitted with a chainsaw and was flying around, literally trimming trees. I just got off the phone with a client who wanted us to attach basketballs to drones and go from one side of the basketball court to another, dropping them in the hoops.

What About Drone Deliveries?

People always ask me about drone delivery: Is it going to happen? What’s going on? My answer is: The technology is already there, it’s just ahead of FAA regulation. Every other day, I see some TV news story where people are worried about drones hitting planes. I don’t think it’s ever happened. There was a fantastic [chart] done by this gentlemen, showing how more turtles have hit planes than drones have.

The Battle Against Poachers

I’m passionate about using drones for humanitarian purposes. I’m an advisor for the African Eye Project, which uses [camera-equipped] drones to catch poachers who are going after endangered species, like rhinos and elephants, in wildlife conservation areas in Africa. We’re utilizing the skills of people who’ve used drones for counterterrorism work.

Mars or Bust!

A few years ago, people would have laughed at this, but I can see the day when we’ve got everyday citizens launching a drone from their backyard and sending it into space—to the moon or Mars or another planet—and having it return home.

To celebrate this year’s DEW Tour, in Long Beach, California, we’ll be premiering our documentary on the Brazilian “gift to skateboarding” and WE ARE BLOOD breakout star Tiago Lemos.

Shot on location in Jaguariúna, São Paulo, Los Angeles and Long Beach, the film contains never-before-seen archival footage, and shows how at just 25 years old, Tiago has already made a mark on skateboarding, bigger than even he realizes.

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