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Umbrella drone created to hover over users, protecting them from rain

The modified DJI Phantom 4 tracks users via GPS, but costs a lot more than a regular brolly

Aatif Sulleyman
Wednesday 25 January 2017 15:19 GMT
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The Umbrella Drone features an onboard 4K camera and collision-avoidance technology
The Umbrella Drone features an onboard 4K camera and collision-avoidance technology

A semi-autonomous drone modified with an umbrella canopy promises to shield users from the rain by automatically tracking their movements, but it’s a hell of a lot pricier than a regular brolly.

Drone retailer DronesDirect lists the creatively named Umbrella Drone, a specially adapted DJI Phantom 4 quadcopter, at a staggering £1,299, down from £1,499. The retailer, meanwhile, is selling the standard Phantom 4 for £997.

However, a call to DronesDirect established that the Umbrella Drone is currently still in testing, and isn’t available to buy just yet.

The designers say the light-hearted creation came about because of the UK’s notoriously unpredictable weather, and will be able to cope with even “the most adverse” conditions.

“As it hovers stable above you, the drone automatically tracks and follows your every movement via GPS in your smartphone to ensure the umbrella protects you from the rain without you needing to hold it,” reads a description on the Umbrella Drone product page.

“Not only is it designed to cope with strong and unexpected gusts of wind, the Phantom 4 also offers built-in collision avoidance technology so you don't have to worry about it accidentally colliding into a tree, lamp post or wall.”

The Phantom 4 has a maximum speed of 44mph and also features a 4K camera, so you can film yourself not getting wet.

Unfortunately, battery life stands at a measly 30 minutes, which means you’ll have to hold the Umbrella drone above your head if you’re ever caught in a lengthy shower. The Phantom 4 weighs 1.38kg on its own, so that could prove quite the workout.

You also need to consider the UK’s drone laws, which forbid drones with cameras from being flown within 150m of a congested area and 50m of a person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under control of the pilot.

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