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A Throwable Drone Wants to Be Your Personal Photographer

If it actually works like it does in the video, the Lily camera could be the automated "flying camera" drone-phobes have been waiting for.

by Beckett Mufson
May 13 2015, 7:30pm

GIF, Thumbnail, and Screencap by the author, via

The days of clumsy remote controls and steep learning curves for quadcopter enthusiasts may be coming to a close, thanks to the designers at Lily Robotics. Recently, they've developed a durable, automated flying camera that—if you can believe your eyes at their demo video above—is simple enough for even grandma to use.

Linked to a GPS tracker/control panel on your wrist, Lily senses when it's been dropped or thrown, then activates its rotors and soars into the sky to capture 12 megapixel pictures, 1080p video, and amazingly gratuitous Michael Bay-worthy shots where the camera circles you like you're doing something epic. On top of that, it tracks your movements so the camera's always on you, is waterproof, and a function that allows it auto-increase its frame rate when it detects the moment you're about to do something exciting, so you can have a slow-mo replay. 

With 20 minutes of battery time, the Lily Camera has more than enough juice to capture a couple swells or your route down a double-black diamond, but let's be real—it's most likely to be used for the kinds of high-flying selfies Facebook hasn't even seen yet. As Motherboard points out, Lily Camera seems to purposefully avoid calling itself a drone, so it very well could become the "flying camera" drone-phobes have been waiting for. At an initial presale price of $499 (to be incrementally bumped up to $999 after June 14), it might be a ways away from truly becoming consumer-friendly—but damn if we don't want one.

Read more about Lily Camera's specs and FAQs on their website.

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