A Japanese company will soon release a hands-free umbrella powered by drone technology and controlled by Artificial Intelligence by 2019.
The company initially plans to release the AI-controlled Parasol first that’s marketed for people who love to spend most of their time outdoors or those who do a lot of outdoor activities that require both hands, such as golf.
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The 59-inch (150 centimeters) wide machine is operated by a AI software that tracks the top of the user’s head to follow them around during hot sunny days. However, the prototype version, which weighs at five kilograms (11 pounds), can only fly for about 20 minutes on a single charge.
Asashi Power Services, luckily, plans to slash the Free Parasol’s weight down to one kilo (two pounds) and give it a much longer battery life of about one hour when it officially comes out to the market next year.
Aside from giving the user a hands-free shade while outdoors, the Free Parasol can also provide soothing breeze using the drone’s propellers that are caged to prevent injuries.
There is also another plan that Asashi Power Services is setting its eyes on. The company is eyeing to create a waterproof version of the device that can be used as a hands-free umbrella during rainy days. However, it could pose a few problems — one in particular is when strong wind blows the drone away from the user.
So far, Asashi Power Services has not revealed any other plans on where to sell the Free Parasols, which cost about 30,000 yen ($275), but they are aiming to make this available in private areas such as golf courses.