A Throw & Go Drone That Flies Itself

Similar to the Soloshot Camera Controller we’ve now got a drone that can do autonomous shooting with Lily, the camera that follows you. Compared to the learning curve of a DJI phantom this small ultra-portable drone is a no setup solution that works by automatically following a small wearable tracking device. Lily is a personal selfie drone with a rugged design that gives it the ability to be your action GoPro in the sky without all the work or someone on the controls.

Waterproof Lily Drone The lightweight (2.8 lb) and tiny (10.29” x 10.29” x 3.22”) drone is the perfect size to throw in a bag without needing a lot of extra equipment. Waterproof up to a meter it can handle the weather just fine including taking off on water and salt water exposure. The Lily gets 20 minutes of flight time on one charge and only requires two hours to charge. Due to waterproofing the battery is internal and unfortunately cannot be switched out for more flight time. Lily has a 100’ maximum range but can keep up with the action up to 25mph and handle 15mph winds. Due to the size constraints and waterproofing unfortunately the Lily does not support mounting for a camera gimbal.

Shot From Lily Drone
View From Lily’s Camera

Sporting a 12MP wide angle camera comparable to a GoPro Hero 3 you can get decent photos for a low price. In terms of focal length a 94 degree field of view is not to the fisheye levels of the GoPro with the trade off of a reduction in the lens distortion. It includes 1080p video as well at 60fps for smooth action without any motion blur. Being your selfie wingman Lily can leverage its feature detection to automatically switch between shooting videos and still shots. For sports and action it can switch to 120fps slow motion (at 720p) with built in feature detection automatically when you’re hitting a snowboard jump for example. While the drone itself has a built in microphone they’ve thought ahead and included one also in the tracker capturing your audio which can be combined back with the video in post.

Lily Tracking Device
Tracking Device with Waterproof Case

In terms of use the drone is fully autonomous although you can change settings such as flight behavior, framing, and camera controls through its smartphone app (IOS and Android). Through the app you can also view a low resolution live stream from the Lily’s onboard camera. While it doesn’t have the functionality of the smartphone app the tracking device also doubles as a basic remote for taking photos and video as well as a emergency stop.

There is no collision detection so you do have to be a bit mindful of obstacles in the flight path. Unlike the Soloshot the tracking device does not require a line of sight so it can be fine in a pocket. If the tracking device does lose connection Lily will stay in place until it reacquires the signal or using feature detection to locate its operator visually. While not possible yet future plans for the software include multiple drones working in concert and tracking multiple subjects.

Lily is currently available for preorder at www.lily.camera for $499, retailing at $999. The current goal for shipping orders is February 2016.

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