Exclusive inside look at world’s first throw-and-shoot camera drone “Lily”

by planetMitch5 Comments

planetMitch note: This is a guest post by Brad Kremer who's had an insider's look at this awesome new self-flying drone and provides this exclusive look behind the scenes…

There are so many drones hitting the market these days that it’s hard to keep up with which one does what. It sort of reminds me of the early days of DSLRs when it seemed like there was a new gadget on the market everyday. I guess in some ways it’s still like that actually.

Rarely does something actually change the game the way that the 5DMKII did for cameras, or how the Dynamic Perception's Dolly did for time-lapse.

Every now and then something special comes out that changes the way we look at things.

A few months ago a friend introduced me to a new startup in Silicon Valley.

They were in need of a launch video for this “flying camera” as they called it.

I had just moved back to California and partnered with a friend to build up CMI-Productions. We met with the two founders of the startup and talked about their new product that they had been working on. They called it Lily.

The Lily founders told us about all the fantastic features that this new drone would have.

The first and most obvious is that it is autonomous. This flying camera would follow and film you, without a controller. You will be able to program specific moves and distances for it.

You can literally just throw it in the air and it just goes.

And it is waterproof. Yes, waterproof!

Lily image 1

I can’t tell you how handy that would have been during a recent trip to India when our other drone went for a swim in the Ganges river. Needless to say, the other drone didn’t survive the Ganges.

All of this sounded a little too good to be true. But seeing is believing. [bctt tweet=”Throw and go camera drone? You've got to see this!”]

They proceeded to show us all of these features actually working on one of the beta models.

I was hooked.

The possibilities that this will bring are limitless.

We spent the better part of the afternoon brainstorming many different ideas ranging from snowboarding to hiking, surfing to reality shows, kayaking to documentaries.

We went on to create their launch video with my good friend and world renowned snowboarder Jussi Oksanen as well as the reining Female Paddler of the Year and Junior Women's Freestyle National Champion Kayaker, Sage Donnelly.

Every once in a while something special hits the market.

Lily may be that next big thing.

It will give us the freedom to create in a whole new way.

I can’t wait to see what it can do in the hands of the creative community as well as everyday people. This is a vision of the future.

Brad Kremer


Introducing the Lily Camera

Via Youtube Description:

Lily is the world's first throw-and-shoot camera. It lets anyone create cinematic footage previously reserved for professional filmmakers. Lily is waterproof, ultra-portable, and shoots stunning HD pictures and videos. Pre-order now at www.lily.camera/

5 years ago on planet5D!

Canon Rebel T2i/550D flies over Montana in a helicam

Lily image 2

Lily FAQs

Via Lily:

Can I swap the battery?

At Lily we evaluated the pros and cons of the swappable battery and we have found it's better to have an internal non-swappable battery. The internal battery allows for this first version to have the following features:

* waterproof
* lightweight
* extended single charge flight time
* simpler mechanical design

What is the song used in the video?

“Can’t slow down” by Reaktor Productions

Does Lily have obstacle avoidance?

Currently, Lily does not have any obstacle avoidance capabilities. We have found that most outdoor activities do not need obstacle avoidance because Lily can follow the user's path. But again, there are no guarantees that Lily will not hit anything while it is following you. If Lily is about to hit an object you can press the middle button on the tracking device and Lily will stop, hold its position, and continue to film you.

When does the $499 pre-sale price end?

We are selling the Lily Camera for $499 until June 15th, then it will progressively increase up to the regular retail price of $999.

When will Lily ship?

The Lily Camera will begin shipping in February 2016.

Read more FAQs at their website.

(cover photo credit: snap from Lily)