Category Archives: Makers

FPV Drone Racing is coming to the Cville Maker Faire!


Hairpin turns, racing around a track head to head. Flying inches above the ground pushing speeds of 70 miles per hour. Threading the needle through gates as your opponent misses, crashes flipping end over end. Or how about bounding from 0 to 50 feet in less than a second. Pulling off a double back flip ease. This is the excitement of FPV Racing and Freestyle.

Never heard of FPV Racing/Freestyle before? FPV puts the pilot in the driver’s seat of a high performance multirotor quadcopter. The quad is equipped with a forward facing camera. The pilot safely controls the highly tuned quad from the ground. With the aid of a RC controller and video goggles, the experience is immersive and exhilarating. It takes all of the pilot’s skill and focus to successfully navigate the race course at speed or complete breathtaking aerial maneuvers. Spectacular crashes happen often. However the only damage is typically a few broken propellers (props). As they say “If you’re not breaking props, you’re not trying hard enough”.

CvilleFPV is a club of FPV enthusiasts from around the Charlottesville area. Over the past year we have been building, crashing, and doing it all over again. Now we are ready to show the public what FPV is all about. CvilleFPV is excited to be part of the Charlottesville Mini Maker Faire 2016.
Weather permitting we are turning the athletic field behind Monticello High School into a FPV Racing and Freestyle playground. Spectators outside can watch head to head racing or freestyle sessions. Inside at our booth, live video feed from the pilots FPV cameras will be streamed. Try out FPV – we’ll have goggles and Liftoff simulator. Interested in getting into FPV? We will have information about how to get started and are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Owen Zanzal

There is currently a Meetup group for CvilleFPV. Join us!

Back this year – Craig Trader & The CHAOS Machine!

The Chaos Machine is a huge hit with seemingly endless tracks and marbles.

The Chaos Machine is a huge hit with seemingly endless tracks and marbles.

Truly a highlight from last year’s Maker Faire, Craig is bringing his gigantic marble machine back this spring. This exhibit is a combination of tubes, tracks, motors and widgets that is initially set up by Craig and his Machine Wranglers and then YOU add to it as a Mechanic. Young children can help gather up fallen marbles and feed them back into the machine while those older and so inclined can add tracks and fun stunts.

My kids truly enjoyed any kind of small “ball machines” we bought them when they were younger and if we chanced upon a public exhibit, they were enthralled for hours. This one is HANDS-ON and HUGE – you really shouldn’t miss it. The main components of the machine are kits produced by Chaos Toy ( which Craig has been collecting for many years. Each year, his installation grows and he is now a popular attraction at numerous Maker Faires. We are excited to have him!

It is asked that kids 8 and under be accompanied by parents who can provide guidance and direction. Believe me, this is one exhibit where you’ll be happy to hang around.