Yes, sadly the cute Lily drone is dead. I was so excited for this little drone about a year ago, when I was able to preorder for 50% of the retail price. But alas, my dreams are dead.
At the time, the Lily drone was cutting edge. It was to be waterproof, offer easy follow-me with a bracelet controller, and allow you to easily launch it by throwing it into the air.
Now that DJI and Yuneec have offered most of these features in their latest quadcopters, it is safe to say that these features are nothing more than slight gimmicks. That's not to say they aren't useful, but they aren't interesting enough to separate a newcomer to the drone scene ... unfortunately.
But Lily's problem wasn't features. Or design. Or utility. It was funding. Lily ran out of funding, and the team struggled to land the additional investment necessary to ramp up their manufacturing process.
Alas, Lily is dead. I'm sad. Even if my new DJI Mavic surpasses Lily's capabilities, in some ways I will miss that little guy. My hope is that somehow DJI buys the rights to these designs and resurrects it, while simultaneously rewarding the great ambitious team that wanted to build a drone in a market dominated by two large companies. I can dream right?
In the meantime, the company is preparing to refund money to people who preordered. That's impressive. So many crowdfunded flops have swallowed backer money; even borderline fraud. But the folks behind Lily have gone the high road and they're soon to send you back your cash. As an early backer, I'm excited about that.