For centuries, mankind has had to block out the harmful effects of the sun’s rays by holding a parasol.
For too long, those cumbersome bumbershoots have occupied the valuable real-estate of our hands when they could be doing something far more productive.
Now, humanity has harnessed the awesome power of drones and created the most advanced parasol to date: Free Parasol.
That’s “Free” in the sense of freedom. These 150-centimeter-wide things are hardly free of charge and are expected to cost 30,000 yen a piece. However, each one is equipped with AI software that can detect the top of your head and lock on to it, providing dedicated shade on those hot and sunny days.
The prototype in the video weighs about five kilograms and can fly for about 20 minutes on a single charge. However, it is planned to bring Free Parasol down to one kilogram and give it a flight time of one hour by the time it hits the market in 2019.
In addition to freeing up your hands as you walk about, the drone propellers’ downwash also provides a soothing breeze on those especially muggy days. Those same propellers will be caged to prevent injury in the seemingly likely event that they bump into people’s heads.
As the technology improves, the makers at Asahi Power Service hope to waterproof them so they can be used as umbrellas in the rain as well. They probably have to make those engines pretty strong to compensate for the winds, or else we’re going to be seeing a lot of lost Free Parasols aimlessly wandering the streets of Japan in the future.
There’s also the issue of laws and regulations regarding drones that make it impossible for someone to just pick one up and use it as a parasol in public all willy-nilly. Asahi is aware of this and is only expecting to sell Free Parasols in private areas like golf courses for the time being.
Chances are that things won’t change anytime soon, so it’ll probably be a while yet before we see road-worthy Free Parasols.
Sources: Asahi Power Services, Newswitch, Hachima Kiko
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