Author Topic: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales  (Read 14455 times)

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Offline timb

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eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2017, 01:01:11 pm »
The other advantage to a software gimbal is no moving parts, which makes the drone lighter and much more robust. Also a lot cheaper, too.

I've crashed mine a number of times (owing to inexplicable disconnects which I think I've finally fixed), one of the crashes involved it automatically "returning home" after a disconnect. Unfortunate home turned out to be some pine trees on the edge of a field, where I had taken off from. It gracefully flew back, but because the GPS didn't have a full 3D fix when I took off, it overshot by about 10m, putting it right over said trees where it started to descend, then hit every branch on the way down. The only thing that broke was one of the plastic feet. I'm glad the return to home feature worked, because when I initially lost control of it, it was hovering 200ft over a pond!

/rant

And as an RC flyer this makes me very afraid that folks are "flying" such devices in public.  If a flying club member had a model or transmitter behaving in such a manner they would NOT be allowed to fly their model(s) until they had demonstrated they had fixed it, usually by means of long range on-ground testing.

Manufacturers by creating such ill-behaved devices, and users (not necessarily you timb) that then don't take responsible steps (i.e. by ground testing and having insurance) to ascertain device safety are going to kill unlicensed personal drone use along with airborne RC flying.

/end rant

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I'll mention it anyway: I was flying on private property, in the middle of nowhere, with no buildings, cars or people around.

I do agree there are *a lot* of reckless drone operators out there who think they basically fly themselves and don't require any skill to operate. There's hundreds of videos on YouTube proving this. (There's one of a guy who took his Phantom straight up (800+) feet, above the clouds, in a residential area, wherein it stopped responding... He finally managed to get it responding after switching off the GPS position lock, then it started drifting as he was bringing it down; he got it to 400ft before the batteries gave out. Luckily it was over a small park, he could have killed someone!

That said, some issues can't always be reliably ground tested. I once watched as a 20+ year RC vet took his plane up and then proceeded to lose contact with it. This was after spending weeks tracking down a problem with (and bench testing) the receiver. The plane kept going, never to be heard from again.

In my case, I'd flown the drone successfully about a dozen times, no problems, then one day it just stopped responding and flew into a tree. The next day I tested it at very low altitude (ran two batteries through it) and everything seemed fine, so I popped a new battery in and started taking some footage, about 8 minutes in it disconnected again and crashes as I said in my last post.

Nearest I can figure, something's wrong with that particular battery, so when it gets below 30% there's a brief voltage sag or something which causes the WiFi module to brownout.

I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but my plan is to run it back and forth across the field with that battery and see what happens.

Some issues can only be tested in flight, because they only occur during specific conditions.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 01:03:50 pm by timb »
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2017, 01:41:00 pm »
The plot thickens:
https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/12/sf-district-attorney-lawsuit-against-lily-may-have-prompted-refund/

From the article:

Quote
Part of the suit has to do with the initial pitch video, watched by millions of people, showing off what appeared to be a Lily drone following users and shooting video. The drone responsible for all that fancy aerial work and video was not in fact a Lily, but a DJI Inspire, something the creators failed to mention.

For those who don't know it, the DJI Inspire is the professional model series from DJI, starting at EUR 2,299 for a basic Inspire 1, and up to EUR 7,098 for the Inspire 2 Premium Combo, used to record movies in cinema quality.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
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Online langwadt

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2017, 02:13:41 pm »
The plot thickens:
https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/12/sf-district-attorney-lawsuit-against-lily-may-have-prompted-refund/

From the article:

Quote
Part of the suit has to do with the initial pitch video, watched by millions of people, showing off what appeared to be a Lily drone following users and shooting video. The drone responsible for all that fancy aerial work and video was not in fact a Lily, but a DJI Inspire, something the creators failed to mention.

For those who don't know it, the DJI Inspire is the professional model series from DJI, starting at EUR 2,299 for a basic Inspire 1, and up to EUR 7,098 for the Inspire 2 Premium Combo, used to record movies in cinema quality.

http://dilbert.com/strip/1996-07-09
 
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Offline Gary350z

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2017, 11:02:47 am »
Slightly off topic alert, anyone got tips for reducing wind noise should I ever get around to doing a few outside videos, this one sounded like an aircraft was trying to land or something.   :D

Watch this video:

Reducing wind noise when recording video

 

Offline Gary350z

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2017, 11:27:06 am »
The drone doesn't look that difficult to make, it's just two GPS units, wireless communications, a bit of math. Three years and $15 million should easily have covered it.

My Hubsan H501S drone will follow me around, has an HD camera, and FPV, and only costs $230.  :)
 

Offline SpaceCow

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2017, 02:29:13 pm »
I too an very interested to find out what went wrong with this. The fact that they used pre-orders on their website instead of a kickstatrter-type system seems to point to a non-nefarious operation, as does the fact that they are returning everyone's money. On the other hand, the fact that they were unable to even come close to producing a product that does what lots of current products already do at a much lower cost than Lily leads one to believe that there must have been some kind of foul play. The most interesting result would be if no one actually stole the money and they somehow honestly tried and failed with $15 million. I'd love to see what went wrong.
 

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2017, 12:58:51 am »
It's looking worse by the day:
https://www.suasnews.com/2017/01/the-people-vs-lily-robotics/

Quote
Here is an extract from the DA’s complaint against Lily Robotics:

“In May 2015, Lily Robotics used a false and misleading promotional video for a camera drone to obtain over $34 million in “preorder” sales from customers all over the world.
A “preorder” is when a customer pays a seller for a product with the understanding that the product is not yet available to be shipped but that it will be shipped by some stated future date.
In addition, Lily Robotics did not refund those customers their money when it delayed for almost a year the shipping dates for its product, as the law required. Instead, it told its customers that the preorder money: “remain[ed] untouched,” was in “cold storage,” and was not being used “to run the company.” This, too, was false and misleading. According to a witness, Lily Robotics had actually used that preorder money as collateral to obtain a $4 million load so it could continue its operations.
It is now January 2017. Lily Robotics still has not shipped a single product to any of its customers, and, according to a witness, it is running out of non-preorder money.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2017, 06:49:43 am »
my idea of sub $300 technical improvements for any compact quadcopter used for aerial photography.
IF I was selling aerial photography compact quadcopters.  by compact is to say it will fit in a backpack.

I would IMO add High Visibility colors to the quadcopter & a onboard piezo siren that can be activated by the pilot. to help find a lost quadcopter.
add an infrared LED collision avoidance system,  simple  idea is to add 8 to 16 infrared LED's and infrared sensors to the quadcopter.
to stop quadcopters from colliding with walls floors & ceilings indoors. but with the outdoors its from colliding with trees & buildings.
pulsed infrared sensors that detects objects that the quadcopter is about to collid with. and pulls an automatic split second turnaround.
 by embedded software. job for programmers.
also add an anti-wind drift system by useing an optical mouse sensor on the bottom of the quadcopter looking down at the ground.
that will keep a quadcopter in a fixed hover. alternative to GPS without constant joystick input to hold a fixed position. even in a wind.
a optical mouse sensor detects if the ground is moving and embedded software removes the quadcopters tilting from the calculation
leaving pilot input and drift. so this is an autopilot that stops non piloted quadcopter drift.
also an integrated quadcopter video system, that gives Standard definition as FPV to the pilot, without a time lag.
but also gives video to an onboard High Definition Digital Video Recorder for aerial photography.
also the FPV video to the pilot . Heads Up Display needs to show countdown timer from a calculation of the battery voltage.
also 2.4Ghz up link signal strength. vr the down link. with a beep for low! must return to base.

also need a signal test preflight checklist for the video so you get a coordinated 5.8ghz channels frequency set
FPV Channel video TX frequencies used by the quadcopter. available frequencies for the down-link.
if you have two or more FPV quadcopters in the same RC radio zone.
 end of rant :rant:
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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2017, 09:02:42 am »
Haven't seen my refund yet...
 

Offline timb

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eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2017, 03:39:25 pm »
my idea of sub $300 technical improvements for any compact quadcopter used for aerial photography.
IF I was selling aerial photography compact quadcopters.  by compact is to say it will fit in a backpack.

I would IMO add High Visibility colors to the quadcopter & a onboard piezo siren that can be activated by the pilot. to help find a lost quadcopter.
add an infrared LED collision avoidance system,  simple  idea is to add 8 to 16 infrared LED's and infrared sensors to the quadcopter.
to stop quadcopters from colliding with walls floors & ceilings indoors. but with the outdoors its from colliding with trees & buildings.
pulsed infrared sensors that detects objects that the quadcopter is about to collid with. and pulls an automatic split second turnaround.
 by embedded software. job for programmers.
also add an anti-wind drift system by useing an optical mouse sensor on the bottom of the quadcopter looking down at the ground.
that will keep a quadcopter in a fixed hover. alternative to GPS without constant joystick input to hold a fixed position. even in a wind.
a optical mouse sensor detects if the ground is moving and embedded software removes the quadcopters tilting from the calculation
leaving pilot input and drift. so this is an autopilot that stops non piloted quadcopter drift.
also an integrated quadcopter video system, that gives Standard definition as FPV to the pilot, without a time lag.
but also gives video to an onboard High Definition Digital Video Recorder for aerial photography.
also the FPV video to the pilot . Heads Up Display needs to show countdown timer from a calculation of the battery voltage.
also 2.4Ghz up link signal strength. vr the down link. with a beep for low! must return to base.

also need a signal test preflight checklist for the video so you get a coordinated 5.8ghz channels frequency set
FPV Channel video TX frequencies used by the quadcopter. available frequencies for the down-link.
if you have two or more FPV quadcopters in the same RC radio zone.
 end of rant :rant:

A lot of this already exists. For instance, the Parrot Bebop has a 6MP OVA CMOS camera on the bottom and uses the video stream to keep the unit from drifting when hovering.

It also has a loud piezo sensor that activates if the unit crashes or is forced to land due to a low battery. Plus it constantly transmits GPS coordinates to the controlling phone/tablet/SkyController, which allows you to pull up a map on your device and see exactly where it is.

IR would be useless for collision avoidance outdoors. Sonar or radar would be much better, however it can also be done with the main front facing camera and software processing. That's the cheapest option (but the hardest to get working reliably.)
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 
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Offline cdev

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2017, 08:03:41 pm »
There are (multiple input capable) SDR front ends suitable for RTK GPS which I suspect could give you a precise positional solution in real time in all three dimensions- you can use several GPSs with the antennas as far apart as possible to give you the UAV's attitude.  Thats likely what pros use for photo-mapping applications.

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2017, 06:20:51 am »
Technically, just rumours and speculation ... but a troubling report nonetheless.


This also does not feel encouraging...

“I am worried that a lens geek could study our images up close and detect the unique Gopro lens footprint,” Lily CEO Antoine Balaresque wrote in an email to the filmmaker hired to make the film. “But I am just speculating here: I don’t know much about lenses but I think we should be extremely careful if we decide to lie publicly.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 06:23:24 am by Brumby »
 

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2017, 11:00:38 am »
And you thought this one was over!

This morning I got an email from Youtube saying there was a Trademark claim against my Lily rant video, from non other than the new owner of the Lily IP, Mota (www.mota.com) another drone company. Likely paid pennies on the dollar it.

Yes, a Trademark claim, not a DMCA copyright claim.
Absolutely laughable, as my Trademark Attorney agrees.
I'm fully protected under the Nominative Fair Use (a.k.a Trademark Fair Use) (1992) U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
I emailed them to sort it out and their response was even more laughable.
They have about 24 hours left to remove the claim before it automatically goes to a Youtube dispute of which of course I will appeal, along with unleashing the internet flood gates on this.

And I wasn't the only one hit.

Stay tuned...

 

Offline jpc

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2017, 11:36:12 am »
When will these companies learn that it is much better to just ignore things like Dave's piece, in which case the odds are it will eventually slip down the google results page and out of sight. But instead they have to poke the hornet's nest and drag it all back to the surface again. Haven't they heard of the Streisand effect?  Time to get the popcorn out? :)
 

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2017, 12:19:39 pm »
Haven't they heard of the Streisand effect?  Time to get the popcorn out? :)

I coincidentally have an unreleased video already uploaded where I mention that exact same thing.
Was going to release this morning, but decided to cut them some slack and see what they came back with, which as I said was laughable.
 

Offline jpc

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2017, 12:32:54 pm »
Cool, I shall look forward to your video 😈
 

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2017, 10:41:59 pm »
Mota have very wisely avoided corporate suicide and decided to withdraw the Trademark request.
 
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Offline jpc

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2017, 10:53:42 pm »
Wise move on their part. But it means I'll have to put away the popcorn 😕. Well at least until until the next time some company tries it on 😀.
 

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2017, 05:24:35 am »
They are back!
Clearly they had this drone ready to go, and just paid $750k for the Lily Trademark and slapped the brand on it.

https://petapixel.com/2017/08/31/lily-drone-back-grave-ready-try-another-takeoff/
 

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Re: eevRANT: Lily Drones Folds After $30M In Pre-Sales
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2017, 05:25:42 am »
Wise move on their part. But it means I'll have to put away the popcorn 😕. Well at least until until the next time some company tries it on 😀.

Free unreleased popcorn fodder:

 
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