Just Toss It Up And It Flies Itself
This is Lily, the first self-flying camera drone. For those wanting to DIY their own action shots, this is about as hands off as it gets! Just toss the drone in the air, it stabilizes, and then waits for your command like a well trained dog.
Lily will set you back $1,000 ($500 for pre-order launch by Feb 2016). But rumor is that in a couple of years time, it will probably come down in price and size as development continues.
Check out the video and article below
Henry Bradlow holds an RC controller and a horribly cracked Moto X, but he’s only gripping these devices in case something goes wrong with his demo. When Bradlow, the CTO and co-founder of Lily Robotics, gives the go sign, Nghia Ho, the company’s computer vision engineer, flings a drone straight up into the air. It rises, and then immediately begins to fall. For a split second, it appears as though this 3D-printed prototype with a camera attached is about to shatter into a thousand pieces. But just as the drone starts to descend, Lily’s four rotors flick on. The machine steadies itself in mid-air, then rises about twenty feet and hangs there, awaiting instructions.
Bradlow never once touched the controller, or his phone. That’s the whole point of Lily, the first product from Lily Robotics, a five-person company co-founded by a couple of recent Berkeley grads with funding from Silicon Valley heavy-hitters like Ron Conway. Lily is a self-flying drone that is always following you, following a certain set of commands. It follows a small circular tracker, which you can have in your pocket or on your boat. With one tap of the tracker, Lily can execute some nifty camera moves, all while staying focused on you. The camera inside, Bradlow says, is roughly equivalent to the GoPro Hero 3: It can shoot 1080p video, or 720p up to 120 frames per second—there’s some tech inside that will detect when you hit a jump while snowboarding and automatically kick the camera into slow-mo. It’ll also shoot 12-megapixel stills and it can make a cool 360-degree panorama. It can fly 25 miles per hour, is totally waterproof, lasts up to 20 minutes on a charge, and has range up to 100 feet. Bradlow says it could move faster and have more range, but the point isn’t to map agricultural landscapes—it’s to take pictures, or have the Lily chase you down the slopes while you carve some powder.
It’s a drone, sure, but mostly it’s a flying camera. And at $499 if you pre-order (or $999 after), it’s a pretty expensive one too. You can tweak the default settings using either the companion app or the small tracker, but you don’t have to know a thing to get it to work. You can’t take over the piloting if you want to—there is no manual mode.
It’s not the future of drones; it’s more like the future of the point-and-shoot.
Article thanks to David Pierce at wired.com – click to continue reading about Lily