Japan 'drone-brella' promises hands-free sun cover

June 6, 2018
Asahi Power Service hopes its 'drone-brellas' will become par for the course for golfers

It's the hands-free experience you never knew you needed—a Japanese company has developed a drone-powered parasol it says can hover over users, protecting them from the sun.

The drone-powered sunshade—being developed by Asahi Power Service—should be released next year, and will initially target those in need of a hands-free head covering wider than your average hat, like golfers.

The potential headaches posed by crashes, and regulations governing , mean the company expects the product will initially be used in closed private spaces, like .

"I decided to develop it as I don't like to hold an umbrella," company president Kenji Suzuki told AFP.

At 150 centimetres (60 inches) wide, the prototype weighs five kilos (11 pounds), and so far can only fly for five minutes on one charge.

Asahi Power Service is hoping to quickly extend flying time to at least 20 minutes, partly by making the device lighter, Suzuki said.

"The first prototype we made was just a drone attached to a regular umbrella," he said.

"We are now testing the third-generation prototype and trying to overcome (the technological challenges of) hovering in a stable manner above the head of the user and then chasing the user."

The drones are fitted with cameras that help the parasols track their owners and stay over the correct head.

The expects the to have a price tag of about 30,000 yen ($275), a hefty investment for a parasol that isn't yet able to protect its users from the rain.

For now, the devices are not waterproof.

"Eventually, we aim to develop it into an umbrella," Suzuki said.

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13 comments

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daqddyo
5 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2018
For heaven's sake, put down your umbrella and hit the golf ball! The few seconds of vitamin D enrichment won't harm you.
Can you imagine this device above you fighting the wind as you are trying to shoot, causing flashes of sunlight on the ground around you, and all the while you are wondering if it is going to run out of juice over your head and injure someone?
ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
carbon_unit
1 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2018
Can you imagine this device above you fighting the wind as you are trying to shoot, causing flashes of sunlight on the ground around you, and all the while you are wondering if it is going to run out of juice over your head and injure someone?
WHAT??!!

I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE NOISE OF YOUR UMBRELLA FIGHTING THE WIND!!
ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
carbon_unit
1 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2018
Many people seem not to realize, that every drone is a https://i.imgur.com/a7GX6bH.jpg by its construction
What could possibly go wrong? Looks at lawn mower link - yeah! Perhaps a more practical use might simply be to have a camera that follows one around, capturing you and your surroundings. If they could quiet the darn thing down, it might be awesome.

I DON"T SEE A POSSUM!
ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2018
"a drone-powered parasol it says can hover over users, protecting them from the sun..."

-Put guns on it and it can protect you from bad guys.
carbon_unit
1 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2018
Good drone with a gun...
Ghostt
1 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2018
The getting Sherpas to carry all your stuff for you to Mt Everest of the modern age. Next up: robot to aim and hit the ball for you while you just sit in the club house and watch everything in HD VR while sipping some wine.
Ghostt
1 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2018
Budget version - tie a string to an umbrella, then tie some helium party balloons to the umbrella, tie the string to yourself.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2018
Good drone with a gun...

Here's to the late great FPSRussia
https://youtu.be/SNPJMk2fgJU

@34M views...
Thorium Boy
not rated yet Jun 08, 2018
Can hardly wait. Trying to make a golf shot in peace while something that sounds like a a swarm of bees hovers above you. God...

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