Japan's 'drone-brella' promises hands-free sun cover
Japan Times -- Jun 07
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 Co. in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture - 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 autonomous aircraft, mean the company expects the product will initially be used in closed private spaces - which would be no obstacle for golf courses.

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

At 150 centimeters (60 inches) wide, the parasol prototype weighs 5 kilograms (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.

News source: Japan Times
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