Why it matters to you
People are finding a growing number of ways to make use of drone technology, and this flying dog surely must be a first.
Forget flying pigs. The honorable citizens of a small town in Japan now have their very own flying dog to marvel at.
Keen to attract tourists to its own part of the world, the town of Oji, located about 250 miles west of Tokyo, thought it’d be a cool idea to fix a quadcopter to its famous canine mascot and then stick it in a promo video highlighting local attractions.
Cutesy mascots are everywhere in Japan, with many places using them to entertain residents and promote local sights. But Oji’s is surely the first to have had rotors attached.
Legend has it that the dog, Yukimaru, once belonged to a historic Japanese figure called Prince Shotoku, who lived during the seventh century. When the prince’s beloved pet pooch finally keeled over, he buried him in the town’s Daruma Temple.
The video works on the premise that Yukimaru has come back to life and fancies exploring his old stomping ground to see how it’s changed. Certainly drones weren’t invented when he was last around.
More: Watch Japanese cops use a net-equipped drone to catch a rogue quadcopter
So Yukimari takes us on a whistle-stop tour of Oji’s sights, which, besides Daruma Temple, include Yamato River, Yukimaru Road, and Hobata Shrine. There’s also Mount Myojin, atop which couples can ring the Bell of Eternal Lovers and enjoy panoramic views of nearby Nara.
While it may look as if computer trickery was involved in some of the video’s sequences, RocketNews24 insists it’s all genuine (though the dog isn’t real … you did realize that, right?). And as if to pre-empt any calls for Yukimaru to prove that he really is a flying mascot and not the result of a computer animator’s careful work, the team behind the contraption has posted an additional video showing the mechanical mutt close up.
Want to see more of Oji’s Yukimaru mascot? Then check out his very own Facebook page here.