IRIS+ Fail, Flew Away and Crash

Hello everyone:

Yesterday, what it seemed like a nice day to fly, it became the end to my IRIS+. I just started flying over a wheat field and suddenly the IRIS+ stopped responding telemetry commands, raised up itselft for about 50 meters, then flew away and went side until it crashed, like if a motor had stopped working.

The results: all the four legs got crashed, the chasis is all with scratches, the front red leds didn't turn on anymore and the GoPro Hero3+ housing scratches too. Fortunately the Gimbal was not installed.

I'm feeling pretty dissapointed now on the IRIS+ since I spent so much money on it. Today sent an email to Help department at 3DRobotics hoping for an explanation of what happened and looking forward for some kind of warranty.

Here is the video and the photo showing how the IRIS+ ended up so I wondering if you guys could notice something wrong on this attempt to fly.


Log files:


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  • Did you take off on level ground? At 26sec it just lists to the side, and sits there, then takes off.

    I read another article about the fact that a guy put a battery in, and during the initialization, the gyros mis-calibrated due to not being flat and stable during the initial power-on sequence.

    • Yes I did at level ground, but it was not flat enough I guess because before that it could not take off and in fact I tried two more times before it took off.

  • Hello,

    I had a similar experience on my first day as well. Watch the video, at point 1:30, and watch my IRIS+ just flip. This was the first of two crashes. The second, the Hulk-Smash, I was at about 150ft and it did the same. I lost the two rear legs and the props only, as the ground was soft... ha! It's actually pretty easy to repair, and I had purchased extra parts.

    Now I have 4 spare sets of legs and 10 sets of props. LOL . I think one just has to accept that this is sometimes "experimental" and a learning experience, and anticipate a failure or two. As I have flown, I think more and more about contingency, and how I would react when something goes wrong. I've enjoyed it actually, with the occasional "oops!"

    I sent my logs to support, but they said they could not find anything. I'm still learning how to analyze that data.

    Here, this should give you a laugh... when I unboxed it, I wanted to hover it. Well, I think I had it in loiter mode... so it shot to the ceiling... I was flipping switches and everything... it eventually cam down, and took out my plant. :)


    • Holy crap...I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that video Jim! 

      A couple of questions - Where is your camera mounted on your Iris? Seems like an odd angle. And what are you recording off that it had the mph and flight info on your video?

    • Craig, I use a Garmin Virb. The Garmin Virb has it's own GPS, and records a .gpx file while it records video. Virb Edit then reads the .gpx and allows you to merge it into a video, and select all those custom dashboard icons, etc. Pretty cool actually!

      My Virb mounts to the stock GoPro mount on the IRIS+, up front. I've printed a couple of different mounts to move it around.

    • I was having the same issues with my Iris, when I would switch to loiter or RTL, it would go crazy and try to commit suicide.  All 3 times I was able to flip to Stabilize and save it from crashing.  I tried calibrating the compass and accelerometer but it kept doing it.  I ended up taking apart the top housing and discovered one of the 2 leads from the Telem Radio was touching the GPS unit.  When I re-taped both leads away from the GPS, recalibrated the compass and accelerometer, the quadcopter now flies fine. 

    • He has an IRIS+ which has a large metal disk between the GPS and Pixhawk that should isolate it from the wires.

    • Cool, I have the first IRIS, might not hurt to open it up and see whats going on in there though, maybe the lead is touching the disk, that would do the same thing, also there maybe some damage after that big of a crash

    • Sorry to read that, it feels so bad seeing your copter crashing. Fortunately I can replace the legs and the propels, as you did, but not my confidence. Anyway, soon as i repair it, I will try it again!

  • Based on the logs;

    Nothing can prepare a pilot like this happening.  If you would have set Alt Hold you might have saved it.

    I think there was a note to upgrade the firmware on IRIS+.  It looks like you experienced the worst case of that.

    You should have noticed something during the first flight as things were off in that one.  It should have crashed then.

    The second flight things were way off and you saw the results.  Alt Hold might have straighten the copter out so that you could have landed it safely.  Loiter, RTL, Auto were not working anymore.

    Well it looks like a fun time putting it back together as it looks like it should go back together just like new.  Your confidence not so much.  I would make sure you put the latest firmware on that copter before you take it anywhere.

    The copter is a dream to fly otherwise.


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