Watch This Cute Dog Drone Take a Stroll Through a Japanese Village
Yakimaru Skywalker is the cutest dog drone you've ever seen—with an origin you would never guess.
There are some videos that can melt the ice off of anyone's heart. Cute kitten cams, pandas just being pandas, and so forth. But Yukimaru Skywalker Takes A Stroll sure did it for DRIVE/Aerial. Then unexpectedly, once we found the original untranslated video, Yukimaru took a skip from the "aww" zone to becoming downright lovable.
Through some light digging in the original video's description, and with the help of Google Translate, we found out that the drone isn't actually for sale, but made by a tourism board in the town of Oji, Nara, "a town related to Prince Shotoku."
According to his Wikipedia page, Shokotu "was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan... Over successive generations, a devotional cult arose around the figure of Prince Shōtoku for the protection of Japan, the Imperial Family, and for Buddhism."
Apparently, Prince Shotoku had a pet whose name was Yuikmaru, and Oji is where the fabled dog's grave is located.
In an attempt to draw attention to the rich history of the town, the tourism board built this lovable drone to pay homage to the long lost pet of Prince Shotoku, and then took it out for a stroll in the town, showcasing the town's tourist hotspots.
The makers of the Yakimaru Skywalker say it is "possibly the world's first mascot drone." If it isn't the first, it's definitely the cutest.