One of the biggest drone stories in 2015 was the unveiling of the Lily drone, a robotic device that makes shooting aerial photos and videos as easy as tossing a drone into the air. There’s no complicated piloting: AI, computer vision, and GPS help take care of everything for you.
It’s a idea that has attracted a huge amount of interest: after announcing $15 million in private funding last month, Lily is revealing now that it has received a whopping $34 million in pre-orders from 60,000 customers.
The project was launched back in 2013 by two UC Berkeley students, Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow, who wanted to make the most newbie-friendly drone possible.
What they created was a friendly-looking waterproof quadcopter that, after getting tossed into the air, tracks a small circular tracker that you keep with you.
Lily can fly at up to 25mph for 20 minutes on a charge and can shoot 1080p video at 60fps, 720p at 120fps, and 12 megapixel still photos. To stop your shoot, simply tap the circular tracker and Lily will fly to you and descend.
After estimating February 2016 as the launch date, Lily is now saying that the first drones will go out to customers sometime this summer. If you’d like your own, you can preorder one for $799 through the Lily website — it’ll cost $999 when it hits store shelves.