Meet Lily, the world's coolest drone that you probably aren't allowed to use

The "throw and shoot" camera drone is undeniably cool. Too bad it probably isn't legal to use it anywhere near civilization.

The latest in drone technology is perfect for living in the middle of nowhere

The Lily Camera is the latest addition to the jaw-dropping array of drones on the market. The only downer about this new unmanned aerial vehicle is you probably aren't allowed to use it if you live in Canada.

The "throw and shoot" camera uses GPS to navigate and keep its target in frame. You simply toss it into the air and watch as it automatically takes flight to follow you around taking HD video. The user wears a tracking device bracelet, programmed ahead of time, to dictate what angle Lily will shoot, or which flight path it will take.  

The drone will follow the bracelet wearer at 20 minute intervals, and because it uses GPS, the user doesn't have to hold a remote control. Lily is on autopilot. The drone will be on store shelves for consumer use in 2016.

With the summer music festival season upon us, imagine having Lily with you at a days-long event, taking aerial shots of your experience. Sounds like a pretty cool use of this little drone. But, as of 2015, that and many other fun uses of a Lily camera aren't possible if you're following the rules. 

Don't count on Lily to film you at next summer's music festivals. (Pascal Lauener/Reuters)

As recently as 2014, drone regulations were still very much a grey area

Now, Transport Canada officially prohibits flying drones near areas with large groups of people, such as beaches, crowded city streets and music festivals. 

The Lily camera might only truly fulfill its potential if you live on a remote mountaintop.

Unsurprisingly, the new Lily video features a lot of locations that don't feature much civilization:

Lily on a mountain


Lily in the mountains


Lily on a mountaintop


Lily on rapids


It's hard to imagine getting much legal and practical use out of Lily when not in a remote location. The new Transport Canada guidelines require that a drone not be flown:

  • Closer than 9 kilometres from an airport.
  • Higher than 90 metres.
  • Closer than 150 metres from people, animals, buildings, structures or vehicles.
  • In populated areas near large groups of people -- such as beaches, sporting events, outdoor concerts, festivals or fireworks shows.
  • Near moving vehicles -- avoid highway, busy streets or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.
  • Within restricted airspace, including near or over military bases, prisons and forest fires.
  • Anywhere you may interfere with first responders.


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