Lily: the world’s first throw-and-shoot camera

For those times when the selfie stick just isn't good enough, there is now a flying camera. Really.

Called the world's first throw-and-shoot camera, the Lily Camera was born in University of California, Berkeley's robotics lab. Toss the device into the air, and its four propellers send it flying up to speeds of 25 miles per hour as it takes high-quality photos and videos.

Unlike other drones, the Lily Camera requires no controller as it follows the wearer's bracelet. The camera follows the user via GPS tied to a bracelet, which communicates distance, position and speed back to the camera.

The company doesn't like the word "drone," however.

"It is a camera, which is the real difference," said CEO and co-founder Antoine Balaresque. "Other products are really just drones that carry a camera. Lily is a camera that happens to be flying."

Equipped with an accelerometer, barometer, GPS and a front- and a bottom-facing camera, the camera gives users several vantage points with the hopes that it will eventually be able to sense weather as well as terrain. The camera is also completely waterproof.

The company has several competitors—such as AirDog, HexO+ and Nixie Drone—but none that have integrated the camera into a flying device or brought a product to market just yet, said Balaresque.

Since it doesn't occupy the same airspace as other drones, Lily Robotics doesn't face FAA regulations. "Lily is 100 percent legal, it always flies below 400 feet and always in the line of sight," said Balaresque.

Lily Camera GPS navigation system
Source: Lily Camera

So far the company has raised venture funding from Upside Partnership, SV Angel and High Line Venture Partners among others. The company's pre-order price is $499, and first deliveries are expected in February 2016, after which the price will jump to $999.

Swamped with emails from investors and meetings in the past few days, Balaresque expects more funding in the near term.

"Our medium- and long-term goal is to democratize flying cameras. Make it available for kids to professional filmmakers. There will be different price points and user experiences, but in the next five years we'd like everyone to have cameras," said Balaresque.