Be Careful What Drone you Buy


Consumer drones are a big business that is still growing. The FAA believes that in the next three years around 2.5 million more drones will be sold and a NPD report from 2016 said drones sales have jumped by over 200% from 2015.

Growth like this always draws nefarious businesses. Remember the Lily drone? The company that made the drone, Lily Robotics, got over $15 million in funding and $34 million in pre-sales for their autonomous flying camera drone. Earlier this year, they went bankrupt, were raided by police and admitted to falsely advertising the capabilities of their drone—and just for kicks then didn’t deliver a single drone.

While there is room in the market for more drone manufacturers, the Drone Dossier team can’t help walk the floor of a drone convention and think half of the companies presenting aren’t going to make it. Onagofly looks like another for this category. Onagofly gained fame by raising over $3.5 million on Indiegogo for its $260 mini drone that claims to have a GPS-enabled follow feature and a high-res camera. In other words another selfie drone!

While they have delivered drones, the reviews are terrible. On top of that, earlier this week a class-action federal law suit was filed against Onagofly and other questionable drone companies in a Los Angeles Federal Court. According to complaints, the camera was not the 15-megapixels promised, that batteries are smaller than stated and don’t work well, the GPS performs badly and the propellers break.

So please, everyone, be careful what drone you buy, there is a lot of bad ones out there!

Makers of Failed Lily Drone Raided


Forbes is reporting that Lily Robotics, the makes of the failed Lily autonomous flying camera (selfie drone), had its headquarters raided earlier this month by law enforcement agents because of a potential criminal investigation against the company.

Last month the San Francisco-based company called its quits after taking in $34 million in pre-orders and over $15 million in investments. Lily Robotics already has a consumer-protection civil suit filed against it by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office for allegedly falsely promoting its product capabilities. Lily also has not kept its promise to repay all those that pre-ordered the drone. Forbes tried to contact Lily, but got no answer.

It will be interesting to see if criminal charges are filed against Lily, so keep tuned for further developments. But no matter what happens, Lily Robotics has definitely taken a sharp fall from being the darling of drone enthusiasts just a few months ago.

One Less Selfie Drone: Lily Drone Calls it Quits


The recently ended Las Vegas CES show saw a whole slew of new ‘selfie drones’. But one of the first drones to push the idea—the Lily Drone—is calling it quits.

Lily robotics first revealed the idea behind its Lily Drone way back in 2014. The drone could be tossed in the air and will then autonomously follow you and take video and pictures. A lot of people thought it was a cool idea, Lily was able to get over $34 million in pre-sales. But poor execution saw the deliver date of the drone pushed back multiple times till finally this week the founders of the company announced they are shutting Lily Robotics down.

While the team at Drone Dossier does not have all the details, this seems similar to what happened to 3DR with their Solo drone—cool idea, really made execution carrying it out. In particular, a lack of experience with sourcing manufacturing and properly dealing with retail channels to actually get the drone to consumers.