3DR: You need to recall IRIS!!!

I think it's time to speak out aloud what hopefully others are already thinking: 3DR you need to recall your product IRIS!

Here's why:

Over the last couple of weeks multiple buyers of IRIS have stumbled over major issues that caused parts of their IRIS to fail, which resulted in crashes and substantial damage.

These issues are:

- Screws for mounting the motor to the frame are too short.
* http://diydrones.com/group/iris/forum/topics/my-iris-crashed-after-closer-inspection-i-noticed-screws-missing

- Power module failure on ESX board.


I'm not even mentioning issues where your QA department failed and sent out kits with missing screws. 

Again, both issues have caused various IRIS quads to crash and get damaged substantially. 

Yes, we all will admit that 3DR has been very generous in getting Quads of some of these folks fixed. And 3DR is also providing replacement screws free of charge when support is contacted. But this is not enough!

3DR, you need to reach out to your customers and inform them proactively about the mentioned issues and come up with a plan to ensure that your customer's device can be returned into a state that it is safe to operate (That's what a recall is). You can't expect us to be your beta testers and monitor these forums 24x7, hoping that someone else will hit a catastrophic bug before myself!

In the case of the motor mounting screws you could start by telling customers that they need M3x10 screws and that one needs to use red loctite with it. Once I had that information I was able to go to the local hardware store and get the stuff myself for a few dollars. 

By keeping quiet about these issues you're making things worse! While it's possible for the majority of us to fix these issues for a few cents or dollars, we are kept in the dark causing major damage to our quads.

Do the right thing and start proactively communicating with your customers. Get started now by telling us what to do with the Power Module failure issue.   

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  • This screw length issue I new to me.  I have not been aware prior to reading this link.

    I am also aware of another issue.  The US government is installing a program in various airport to enable drone flight to be reported to the local control tower and appear on the radar screens.  It is my understanding that an app is required on 3DR products to make this system work properly.  I called the 3DR tech support line about 10 days ago asking for the app, and was informed that 3DR will NOT provide an app for the IRIS+ - a discontinued product. I asked that party to communicate upward that IRIS owners need this app. 

    My local airport is one of six that are testing this system called Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS).  About the time it was started in my local airport, I started to experience problems in the data received by telemetry from IRIS to my radio.

    I particular, the GPS position data  is greatly in error.  The longitude reported and shown on my radio is correct, but the latitude reported is a position a few miles north of the equator, while my position is thousands of miles from the equator  This makes my GPS data useless. 

    The distance data shown on the radios' monitor is also in error.  I have sent this IRIS and radio to the repair service, who has changed numweous sensors without correcting the problem. 

    Now, the coincidence of this system starting at my local airport and the start of these errors appearing does not prove cause and effect.  I have attempted to reach the technical person at my airport to discuss this, and to arrange a period of 'out of service' to demonstrate cause and effect, but this has not happened yet. 

    I have numerous, repeatable examples the show these errors appear only when the IRIS+ is in line-of-sight of the airport.  When I travel out of line of sight, these errors do not appear. 

    The press reports that many airports are eager to install this system, but it is unclear when this will happen.  In the meantime, I may be the only  person with this problem (I am unaware of any other IRIS owner in this town), but I may be the 'tip of the iceberg' when the program goes nation-wide. 

    In my opinion, 3DR corp. must help us and provide the app necessary to make this program work in our UAV's.  To fail to do so is the height of corporate arrogance. I, for one, will not be forced into a SOLO, but will be forced into a competitors product because of this outstanding lack of support from 3DR.   

    By way of contrast, I received a notice from GM the other day, telling me that a software update was available for my 2011 Chevrolet, which was promptly installed by the local dealer Free of Charge.  (My Chevvy has been discontinued for 5 years now).



    [1] Washington Post, March 29, 'How airports and the drone industry are teaming up to protect planes'

    [2] Aviation News Today, March 30, 'AAAE, Air Map, release Digital notice, Awareness System for UAS'

    [3] UAS Magazine, March 31, 'Digital notice system improves UAS safety near airports

    Paul Skrotzki

    Reno, NV


  • heres a question... why is Iris help buried in ardupilot.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=48 ?

    why not in Iris help or Iris forum. just something a little more simplified?

    Please and Thank you

  • I tried changing the Pids on my Gimbal, now it is screwed, it seems to think it is everywhere and yaw is roll, I re-installed motor and board firmware used default Pids and 3DR Pids and my own. There is no good documentation. Disappointed, now I have go and build a new 550.

    • I fixed the issue. I just had to re-balance motors and spent 2 hours tuning the Pids. But seriously unless you expect everyone to have experience with drones the Gimbal should be made easier and the fact I had to go find the manual online and not in my box is upsetting. Lastly if someone orders the Iris with a Gimbal you should load the Iris with Gimbal parameters onto it or have a instructions sheet. Otherwise people will put on the Gimbal and long legs and then complain it flies funny.

  • The IRIS looked really great and I was really excited to get it assembled and configured ready to go out of the package.

    Unfortunately like many others on this forum that was not the case. My unit arrived with missing parts. It had 3 of the 4 long legs and only two of the four small plastic pieces to hold the legs to the frame. Not a problem mistakes happen especially with new products.

    So I called 3DR and explained what happened to the rep. The rep apologized for not receiving the parts I ordered and then asked me to email it to him ( I explained i just needed the two parts and again he asked me to email him. After that I waited 3 days and had no response. So I called again and spoke to a manager who again asked me again to email her with what was missing. Two days later I got my tracking number and a week later received one arm and one plastic piece to hold the arm instead of the two I needed. After two weeks and many phone calls and emails the folks at 3DR showed they don't listen and let me down again. 

    Following the customer service issues I found ran into several other issues mentioned here;

    -Tarot gimbal will not level the horizon. It stabilizes but not levels.

    -Motor came loose on a bumpy landing, destroying the Tarot Gimbal plate.

    -Battery flight time advertised as 10-15min no gimbal. With the two batteries I ordered my longest flight is 8 minutes/no gimbal 6 minutes/gimbal.

    I don't think that all IRIS's are bad and need a recall but I do think there have been some bad  "lemons" of  drones and poor customer service that do need to be recalled when issues such as these occur. It would also be great if the 3DR reps didn't pretend to listen and then ask you to email them what you just told them. 

    • You need to remove the Red wire to fix the roll issue.  Since you only control tilt with the stock radio, the Pixhawk can sometimes send erroneous signals to the gimbal if you connect the roll wire too.  I believe the new gimbal instructions show this now.

  • Very impressive! 

  • 3D Robotics

    Improved motor screws (with a little tube of Locktite) are being sent to all customers, free of charge, in the next week. 

    DIY Drones is not the customer support forum for 3DR and customer support reps do not monitor this public site. As other commenters in this thread have noted, the support forums are at ArduPilot.com.


    • Chris, great to see that customers will be getting their repair kits next week. Thanks a lot for that!

      But maybe in the meantime you can already inform them via e-mail of what's coming. This way customers can decide to ground their IRIS over the weekend or go out and purchase the spare parts themselves. In the end you might save a few customers (who haven't been reading up on the topics here) from the bad experience of their IRIS falling out of the sky between now and when they will receive the spare parts. 

      Also, I would recommend that you are more clear on which support forum is for what. I guess a lot of us are confused on when to use diydrones.com and when to use ardupilot.com. At least I am. 
      And last but not least: Invest more time and resources into one single support forum (wherever that might be). It will save you a lot of resources in the long haul. An example: You could dramatically reduce the support calls if there was a sticky post (in red) at the top of your support form that warns people not to run the Setup in Mission planner as IRIS is already "Ready-to-Fly". Someone has to create that entry once instead of dealing with numerous support requests via phone and e-mail or even worse: Dealing with the outfall of it.
      An easy rule from operations management: Preventing issues (defects) early on will always safe you exponentially more. 

      You guys are doing a great job and it's great to see the CEO being involved at the front lines and being enthusiastic about your own product. Please keep up with that, but also consider our feedback and keep getting better.


    • Christian,

      You are right on, on everything here.

      I'm really glad that someone found the right way to communicate the issues we're having, thank you! You strike me as an experienced professional operations manager! Might I suggest some consulting work with 3DR?

      I was one of the first to get their IRIS. I decided to ground my IRIS over a month ago until all of this stuff has been sorted out.

      Does anyone have an up to date list of the issues being chased? 

      Also, I have yet to be contacted or sent any kind of screw kit by 3DR, should I be expecting one?

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