In the future, will we all have drone umbrellas autonomously follow us, hovering just above our heads to shelter us from the rain? Maybe! But Youtuber I Build Stuff couldn’t wait for the future, so he took matters into his own hands and constructed his own drone umbrella. While this one doesn’t autonomously follow its user, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. That step being one out of the rain, just to be clear.
After hand drawing the design, I Build Stuff then reproducing it in CAD, and the parts were 3D printed. The design is a large quadrocopter, with each rotor on a long arm to allow enough space for an umbrella to fit between them.
The design works well, although it appears any amount of wind causes the umbrella to quickly start drifting away. And rain and wind DO go hand in hand. With enough interest in the project, I Build Stuff says he’ll add a camera to the dronebrella and write the code to track his movement so it can autonomously follow him. This will also help the drone compensate for wind by trying to constantly stay above him. That’s a good idea. Another good idea? Adding some safety cages around those spinning blades right above your head.