Back in 2015, the “Throw-And-Go” Lily Robotics drone was building steam and making waves. Its Kickstarter campaign centered around its ability to launch out of water and to be thrown off a cliff to immediately rescue itself and follow its adventurer as they traveled quickly over any terrain. The Lily drone had massive appeal and was slated to be an incredible way to capture and film outdoor enthusiasts and people who just wanted a durable drone to take with them on their adventures.
However, that Lily never even took off with an continuously pushed back release date which eventually led to a consumer-protections civil suit for the $38.4 million in pre-orders that were never delivered and caused bankruptcy and sales of its assets for Lily Robotics this past January. The Lily Drone is back and is being labeled as the Lily Next-Gen™, but it’s not the drone we were hoping for.
Droning On is reporting that Mota Group, a budget drone manufacturer, is relaunching the Lily brand with it’s own version of the drone to the public and states that the drone will be in your hands in as little as 30 days from your order. Mota Group didn't purchase all the assets from the original Lily Robotics and has only purchased the branding and marketing parts of the business. The patents and technology for the actual drone were purchased by another company named LR Acquisition, and these patents would most likely include the parts of the original Lily that many cared most fervently about; the toss to fly, follow filming, and being ability to launch from water.
The idea of the original Lily is still in the minds of many people who backed the project and have yet to receive any money back from the failed Kickstarter that Fstoppers reported on in January. This new version may not sit well with the original’s backers while they await some restitution from the promised full refunds. There were 61,450 Kickstarter backers of which about half have been paid. Even with the Lily name being seen as a failure amongst many drone enthusiasts, Mota Group is giving this Lily "2.0" a shot and releasing the drone on it’s website with a pre-order sale.
The original Lily made many people, including myself, want a drone when I had little enthusiasm or what was available wasn’t meeting regular peoples' wants and needs. Will this Lily Next-Gen™ bring back some of that excitement and establish the Lily brand again? I’m not so sure.