Come Rain or Shine: A ‘Drone-Brella’ Patent Granted
In an interesting and innovative development, members of the Korea Aerospace University want to produce a drone which acts as an umbrella, keeping the user dry from rain and safe from the sun’s harmful ulta-violet rays. The ‘Drone-Bella’ device is detailed in a newly granted Korean patent, KR101825540B (PDF).
The patent architects believe the device might be useful for elderly people in particular, protecting them from the weather without the need to hold an actual umbrella. They say this could alleviate the risk of sunstroke on hot sunny days and the risk of falls in wet weather.
They also suggest the drone could be used to deliver goods to a destination safely without getting wet in the rain and might also be useful in farming and outdoor settings by protecting workers from heat and sun and thereby improving their efficiency particularly in hot countries.
The invention will apparently be capable of flying alongside a moving object on the ground such as a person, and blocking out, as desired, sun or rain.
The drone is basically made up of square covered frame which provides the barrier from the weather. Then four propellers are attached to each corner of the frame to provide lift. A steering device is positioned on the edge portion of the frame; it also has a motor for controlling the pitch of the roof to allow rainfall run-off.
The drone will be programmable and have continuous communication capability with the user who can control and direct the flight or can set to drone fly autonomously, much in the same way modern consumer drones now have track and follow capabilities.
While the frame is constructed of lightweight aluminum, carbon material or a synthetic material would also be appropriate in order to form a range of shapes such as rectangular, square, triangular, pentagonal and hexagonal.
This shielding film has a solar panel which converts solar energy into electrical energy to power the control device; this device carries a camera and controls the flight direction and the height the drone flies at in accordance with the person on the ground.
We’re not quite sure what happens in a big gust of wind, but it certainly makes for an interesting concept !