A little over a year ago, we published an article titled “Airbots will revolutionize adventure filming,” in which we prognosticated that a camera drone would one day “trail you as you snowboard down a powder run or follow you as you climb a multi-pitch crag.”

At the time, we were thinking this would be a few years off, maybe five or ten years. So…it only took about a year.

Lily Robotics, a company founded by a couple of Berkeley graduates, has developed a self-flying camera drone that follows you by homing in on a wearable tracking device.

This video pretty gets the point across pretty well:


The first models are expected to ship in February 2015. Until July 15, 2015, Lily’s can be purchased at a discounted rate of $499. After that, they’ll run $1000.

Lily tracks a person by homing in on a transmitter puck.

Lily tracking device arm band
Lily tracks a person by homing in on a transmitter puck.

Lily doesn’t require you to fly it. Just throw it into the air and go about your business. The drone follows you around and records your exploits. It can take 12 megabyte still images at set intervals or film in either 1080p HD at 60 frame per second or 720p at 120 fps, a high-enough rate that it can be used for slow-motion playback.

From the looks of it, Lily is a groundbreaking advance in automated drone filming. We are wondering, thought, whether another company will soon release something similar with a more powerful camera built in — say one of GoPro’s new 4K cameras. Still, we want one — big time.