The Lily Drone that Slow Capital’s Dave Morin quoted as ‘Pure Magic’ is no more. The drone has crashed into an iceberg of false advertising , with unrecoverable damage, by Lily Robotics its creator. An investigation by San Francisco district attorney for violating a 30 day buyer law have excused the company of ‘wilful, intentional, and corrupt corporate behaviour’.
Despite generating $34 million in pre -sales no customer actually received a Lily drone. The companies delay may reflect its attempt to bring the drone more aligned with the promo videos. It has been revealed the company spruced up video footage by using Gopro cameras & DJI drones when promoting the Lily. A damaging email by Antoine Baleregue, (co- founder), states ‘ l am worried a geek could study our images up close, and detect the unique Gopro lens footprint’, evidently states its truth.
One could assume Robotics believed that the Lily could produce images of that quality with further work. The time set by the parameters of buyer’s law would have prevented this. The false advertising error by Robotics gives a clear warning to other drone companies promoting products with to much visionary optimism. Robotics pulled in 66,000 pre- sales before Lily was even ready capturing the power of advertising in this way.
George Gascin, (SFDA), by order of the court has forced Robotics to give a full refund. And, on January 12th 2017 the company announce closure declaring all money will be returned to the costumer. A sad ending to that drone featured by wall street journal as a ‘ gadget that will define life’. In George Gascon closing statement he simply put ‘ Everyone in the market must follow the rule’. A lesson which will shadow the co founders of Lily Robotics for the rest of their lives.
Lily the waterproof drone created for land, and water- based launches sinks like the Titanic, and is gone for ever.