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-...
http://ardupilot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=7016

- Power module failure on ESX board.

http://ardupilot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=7435

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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Replies to This Discussion

I would like more 3DR participation in their support forums.....

Yes 3DR needs to publically address this ASAP.

It will only be a matter of time otherwise when a bad crash happens and 3DR will get a bad name or will give the drone community a bad name

A recall is an interesting idea, but I'd settle for a simple care package with new fasteners, something to fix the ESC, and improved documentation that helps users avoid common pitfalls and warns them about areas that need periodic checks/maintenance.

FYI - The 3DR corporate folks seem more active over at this site:

http://ardupilot.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=48

Thanks for adding the official support forum JB3

Guys - it does say quite clearly in the group description that the support forums are at ardupilot:

"A group for all 3DR Iris discussions, questions and owners.

This is the support page.

http://ardupilot.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=48

Members: 128
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago"

I'm certainly not dismissing the problems as I have been vocal in the past when things have gone wrong.  However, I would suggest that you get in touch directly with the resellers or with 3DR if you bought it from there. 

A recall is an interesting decision, but if a couple of people are having a problem from say, 1000 units, it doesn't mean a recall is in order.

You shold always keep in mind though, that you should always check that the Iris is flyworthy.  This should be part of your pre-flight checks.  All screws tightened, all props secure, not damage from 'heavy' landings and everything looks good through mission planner (or whatever GCS you use), etc.  If you're finding that mods are needed, then by all means post them here as I would love to see them and the 3DR folks will pick them up.

Remember that this is still bleeding edge tech...  Personal flying machines?  Very cool stuff.

I am quite happy with my D.E. Iris and 3DR.  I probably have around 70 flights on mine and have only crashed once into a rodeo bull pasture(without damage) but that was my fault as I had somehow turned off Fail safe and lost RC signal.  good luck. I hope everything can be worked out!

I am very happy with my Iris.. Where 3DR is going to win is on super customer service and support.

 

Many customers will be 1st timers, myself included, do have some basic questions which we post in the aurducopter forum which 3DR should respond to.

 

3DR needs to assign someone to that forum and answer questions... the community has been great  but if this is a commercial consumer product they need to...

 

I have called 3DR on a few issues and phone support has been OK.. not stellar

 

 

I have to say I was somewhat surprised when a new Iris turned up in Cyprus and the motors did not even turn in the correct direction. You need to look at the Quality Control guys...

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 

Thanks Chris, much appreciated!

Since 3DR collects email addresses for all it's Iris orders, have they considered sending out important notifications via email?

Some examples:

  • If using Mission Planner, do not use the wizard to configure the Iris.  Choose the Iris param file, etc.
  • If you have loose bolts in the motor, do not attempt to torque them down as it could strip the threads and damage the motor.  Instead wait for the longer bolt and loctite kit.
  • Prop balancing guidance and where to get properly sized replacement parts for the hub and spindle.

-Joe

Good ideas! I'll pass them to the customer support team. 

Denny, that's odd -- all Iris's are flown before they are shipped. Did you change a configuration before attempting flight? And have you communicated this to customer service? That's the right place to report issues so they can be addressed directly. 

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