By next year we could all be using hands-free drone operated umbrellas!

In real life, only VIPs get to walk with their arms swinging while an assistant or bodyguard stumbles behind holding an umbrella over their head, but it seems like this VIP treatment might soon become available to even the average joe. Asahi Power Service, a Japanese company, have devised a drone fitted with an umbrella that promises protection from an unwelcome shower without you having to lift a finger!

YouTube video

Called the Free Parasol, this ingenious invention supposedly has the ability to track its owner’s head and flies directly above it to offer respite from rain or intense sun. In the demonstration video, the prototype is being operated using a remote control, however the company promises that the final product will utilize AI technology and cameras to keep up with the drone/umbrella owner as they walk.

The company plans to bring the Free Parasol to the market as early as 2019. Reports say it will be priced at 30,000 yen (around $365) and will operate for about one hour before needing to be charged. Is this close enough to the VIP life? Or would you trade a buzzing drone for a real life butler any day?


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