Cloudy with a chance of drones


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The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), most commonly known as drones, has grown exponentially over the last few years. From government institutions scanning locations of interest to commercial businesses making deliveries, drones are proving to be extremely beneficial, filling gaps in the logistics and intelligence-gathering markets that have existed for quite some time

There are even weather drones that are used to forecast and monitor weather conditions. They are able to fly up to three kilometres high, in order to reach that sweet spot that both ground-based stations and satellites have trouble tracking.

Drones have become the perfect solution for quick, safe logistical actions. They have the capability to reach their destination, complete their task and return – all with the least amount of effort, time and energy. Controlled either by a dedicated remote controller or through a smartphone app, drones are easy to use and maintain.

But are drones for everyone? Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and that’s why I work in tech PR. However, it wasn’t until earlier this month when I read about an actual use case for drones that began to think… now that’s something I’d like to buy! It was a drone that carries an umbrella to shield you from rain and sun.

It’s a simple design with a DJI Mavic Pro and a standard umbrella where the drone’s GPS tracks the user’s position and follows them wherever they go. It’s a brilliant idea but has some ways to go. Drones aren’t the quietest of things and having one buzzing away in close proximity to your ears can be less than desirable. The second issue is that its battery life only lasts for 20 minutes. However, the team is working on making it last a whole hour by the time it’s officially launched. Finally, it costs about $275, which is a hefty price to pay for the single function it was designed to perform.

The drone-umbrella combo is expected to be on the market by 2019. In the meantime, it does plant ideas for how drones can be used in other situations like carrying shopping, acting as safety guides for the elderly or even making Halloween a little more interesting this year!

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