ShadeCraft’s Beautiful, Intelligent Robotic Sunflower

First off, don’t call this beautiful objet d’art an “umbrella.” God, no! ShadeCraft founder and CEO Armen Gharabegian stated, “We are to umbrellas as self-driving cars are to the horse and wagon.” This, dear readers, is an intelligent shading system robot designed to call to mind the elegant beauty of a sunflower as it gracefully traces and tracks the sun’s movement across the sky, keeping you shaded while enjoying the great outdoors and an adult beverage. But the Sunflower is also oh so much more!

The Sunflower uses its solar cells to not only capture the sun’s power for power — two hours to full charge delivering an estimated 72 hours of use — but also to track the sun and slowly turn, rotate and adjust to keep occupants shaded beneath its canopy. It also features USB ports to charge connected devices.

The graceful 10-foot high robot features a 3D printed “stem” which houses all of the necessary electronics, and the 7 ½-foot diameter canopy provides adequate shading for multiple sunbathers. Even with its size, the company claims Sunflower is light enough to be portable. But beyond that, just watching Sunflower rotate, open and close was a delicate and graceful ballet demonstrating a beautiful combination of technology form and function.

Beyond being the frickin’ coolest robot not-umbrella that you’ve ever seen, the Sunflower is crammed with some cool tech, such as wind sensing technology that will automatically close the unit if winds become dangerously high. Sunflower also has a premium Harman/Kardon audio system on board for music and entertainment, along with Bluetooth for easy connection, as well as the company’s Sonique far-field voice technology for voice control. Also concealed beneath the canopy are LED lights, along with top-mounted cameras for integration with Google maps.

Pre-orders went live on January 9, 2018 for $5,220, however this is a temporary sale price until the 15th when the price will increase to $8,000 msrp.