Lily’s $34M boom signals age of ‘selfie drones’

Image: Lily flying camera
Lily’s “flying camera” is designed to be thrown into the air to take selfies. (Credit: Lily)

If you ever needed evidence that “selfie drones” are the hot thing for 2016, you can find it in last week’s reports from the International CES show that a startup named Lily Robotics has collected 60,000 pre-orders for its flying camera, amounting to a potential $34 million payoff.

Supporting evidence came in the form of other selfie drones that were shown off in Las Vegas, including the Qualcomm-backed Ying quadcopter and the crowdfunded Onagofly nano-drone. Still other selfie-copters are waiting in the wings, including the tethered Fotokite Phi, the watch-controlled Hawk and the Nixie wearable drone.

Selfie drones are designed to follow you at a standoff distance and take videos, guided by your smartphone’s signal or a homing device you can tuck in somewhere.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

2 replies on “Lily’s $34M boom signals age of ‘selfie drones’”

Alan, I fully agree with you those self flying drones have a great future. I’ve been following Lily for a while and I love their story. I still feel however, those drones have a major flaw: they do not have the capacity to avoid obstacles. You may say that you there are few obstacles in the sky. But trees or wires exist. One of the usage of those self flying drones is to follow people cycling, hiking, etc. and I have the feeling that obstacle avoidance is the next big thing to incorporate, although technically it does not seem to be that easy.


I agree with you, Marc… Even the Onagofly drone appears to have hazard avoidance, though I’m not sure how it’ll do with power lines. I have to say the Lily video looks glorious … I guess I should reserve final judgment until the drones actually hit the market and get critiqued.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: