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June 5, 2018

Finally, an ‘umbrella drone’ that hovers above your head

by John_A

If holding a parasol or umbrella has always felt like too much trouble, then this contraption from Japan looks to be just the ticket.

At first glance, it looks like a drone with a parasol/umbrella attached. Actually, it looks like that with subsequent glances too, because that’s exactly what it is.

Put to one side, if you can, any negative thoughts about the ear-splitting racket it’ll make above your head as you go about your day, and marvel instead at all of the incredible things you’ll be able to do with two free hands instead of the usual one.

Like applauding amazing happenings, fiddling with your massive smartphone display, performing fascinating TED Talks (outdoors in sunny or rainy conditions, obviously) using both hands to emphasize interesting points, or counting the number of dollars you wasted on this daft device (you’ll definitely need more than five fingers for that).

If you’re thinking that having fast-spinning rotors just inches from your head may put you at risk of an impromptu haircut (or worse), then rest assured, the final design will include caged blades.

Speaking of final designs, the company that came up with the drone — Asahi Power Service — has released another video (above) showing the motor and rotors in a more elevated position, a little further away from the brave person standing beneath it. It also looks more like a traditional umbrella, with a handle, suggesting it would only be activated in short bursts when you need both hands to perform a particular task, such as taking a golf shot.

Indeed, with strict regulations still preventing widespread use of drones in urban areas, Asahi Power Service says it wants to begin by aiming its marketing efforts toward golf players who can use it while they take their shots.

According to SoraNews, the company plans to start selling its umbrella/drone combo for the princely sum of 30,000 yen (about $275), starting next year.

Drones are turning out to be amazing for a lot of things. This isn’t one of them. For those who want to keep both hands free as they shield themselves from extreme weather, we suggest a far more sensible option: The umbrella hat.

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