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Do not back drones on Kickstarter

The Lily drone wowed people with its concept video (above) and raised millions in crowdfunding. Now, it’s closing its doors and getting sued by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.

Ryan Mac, writing for Forbes, on the making (and unmaking) of the failed Lily drone:

The lawsuit alleged that Lily did not have a single prototype that functioned as advertised at the time of the launch video’s filming. Instead, it claimed Balaresque and Bradlow brought non-functioning models to the shoot for “beauty shots,” while the first-person angles that supposedly came from the Lily Camera were actually shot by GoPro units that had been strapped to the robot.

This is yet another high-profile failure in drone manufacturing. Zano, also funded by Kickstarter, went spectacularly wrong, and the GoPro Karma was recalled within its first few weeks of launch after the devices started falling out of the sky.

The lesson could not be more clear: Don’t back drones on crowdfunding sites. And if the company is new in the drone space, wait a few months to see how things play out. In the meantime: DJI all the way.