Lily Camera: The promise of the sympathetic and autonomous drone that ended in demands and returns

Lily Camera

In the last year, we have seen competition in the field of drones it became increasingly difficult, and in fact recently was news that reduced Parrot efforts (and staff) in this division after the launch of the Parrot Disco. But one of the most recent victims has been Lily Robotics, who after reversing what was to be the first selfie drone has been sued for spreading misleading content.

A lawsuit filed against the California Supreme Court on the part of the San Francisco district attorney’s office as we know from The Guardian, which states that the company may have engaged in illegal practices and would have disseminated deceptive content in the promotional videos of the product. Something that arrives after the manufacturer communicates the refund of the money already collected with the reserves of the product.

Where did Lily say, say DJI?

What you see in promotional videos is a mixture between shots that are supposed to have been taken with the drone and a sample of the functions of the same. For example, in the video we see on page official website (still active and the drone as protagonist) supposedly see how it works autopilot (or recording on autopilot, following the user) that is waterproof.

What is specified in demand is that they have falsified shots of Lily Camera, so that actually would have been taken by drones of the DJI company or GoPro cameras, without recording tests on autopilot, and thus would Defaulting on what the potential buyer was claiming to be. Thus, the shots would have been made with a much more expensive professional equipment (DJI Inspire), which is also just the opposite of this autonomous function (since it requires at least two people).

Lily Camera
Image Source: Google Image

What is Lily?

As told in IEEE Spectrum company began serving the topic of start-up garage, and Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow, its creators, Lily began building prototypes Camera at a local Atherton, California. At that moment, they had just finished their university studies and were presenting their idea, for example in a hackaton where they were made known to the editor of the article.

So the world knew about this product in 2015, when it was precisely that protagonist with that function of chasing us without driver and a design more friendly than other competitors. The trick: The drone would follow a device that the user would carry on (the one we saw in the video when for example inserted in a kind of waterproof bracelet) during the 20 minutes of autonomy claimed by the manufacturer.

The drone also promised to get going as we saw the Parrot Disco that is, throwing it in the air. In addition, its design would allow it to catch it in full flight by having a curved base and would float in the water.

Within the promotion and hooks for potential customers, the Lily Camera’s reservation could be made from the website for $ 499, half the price of the product $1000. There was also the promise that the characteristic autonomy was not a thing not only of one unit, but of several, being able to have communication between them to make different shots of the same recording, all of course without pilots or human intervention.

You may also like to read another article on DuckysDesktop: GoPro withdraws its Karma drone for problems that cause it to lose energy in mid-flight

Something went wrong

To want is not always power and less when it comes to raising money to carry out a project as ambitious as the one announced by Lily. The company announced a few days ago that despite the $ 34 million raised thanks to the reserves could not cope with manufacturing, so that would return the money to who had made one.

The symptoms that something was not going well are not new, since about a year ago the company announced that the distribution of the drones would not be in February 2016, but the following summer, which would not be the only delay. In addition, Kelly Coyne, Lilly’s chief communications officer at the time, told that there were some software problems for example in flight controls.

A calculation error that will not go cheap

What does San Francisco ask of the Court? Lying is not good for the prosecution and in this case lawyers ask for a payment of $2500 for each of the violations, so depending on how the trial goes, the judge’s determination could go up to $300000. A peak that would have to face after the returns of the invested capital to consumers who reserved their product, for which they have set a period of 60 days.

At the moment neither the creators of the project nor any spokesperson of the company (which happened shortly to have five to forty employees) has made no statement on this demand. We will see if the company actually spread misleading content and, in that case, how much the sum to pay. Meanwhile, other competitors have already carried out similar functions such as GoPro Karma (which also persecuted a user), although they have not done too well either.

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