Drone-maker 3D Robotics cuts jobs, refocuses on corporate market.

3D Robotics Inc., one of the better-funded, high-profile drone startups, is laying off an undisclosed number of its staff in a restructuring aimed at moving more quickly into the commercial market, due to heavy competition in the consumer drone market.


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Comment by Blackstar on March 25, 2016 at 5:29pm

3DR's pivot makes sense - the drone industry landscape is a lot different from what it was even a year ago. The consumer market is a lot more cutthroat, with increased competition from new startups and pressure from DJI. Their partnership with Apple was a smart move, and that's going to make it even harder to compete with them in that space going forward. I would have liked to see more competition, and it's sad that 3DR isn't able to be that competitor. 

The laid-off staff, some of whom came from DJI, are highly talented and will no doubt find work elsewhere.

3DR will continue on the commercial side. However, DJI and many other companies have already entered that space as well - competition there will be bloody as well. I hope 3DR is able to thrive in that space and I applaud their efforts, no matter what happens. I always found it amazing that Chris was able to devote time to DIYDrones and function as a CEO at the same time. I wonder if something will have to give in the future though.

Comment by Rana on March 25, 2016 at 6:08pm

If DIYdrones.com had not been there then 99.9% members here now at this website would have not gained whatever they have actually achieved in terms of knowledge and competency. 

I respect this website along with Chris, Jordi and all developers from the depth of my heart !

Comment by Marc Dornan on March 25, 2016 at 6:21pm

DIYD should be fine and it should still have a prominent place in the Open Source or "Open Standards" community of professionals, prosumers, and enthusiasts. I think it needs a makeover and probably needs a mission statement along with some thought to generating enough revenue to pay its way - I would guess it has been funded by 3DR.

I would love to be proven wrong but 3DR's prospects may not be as obviously rosy in the commercial space even if it makes sense to move into that field. There will be stiff competition there as well and 3DR have not done any hardware development in a while. Firmware does not fly itself. 

Comment by crystal garris on March 26, 2016 at 1:13am
@Rob Lefebvre
Im still trucking along doing my thing. Sales are definitely down this year, but I have this thing called a job, so I literally can't go broke. ;-)
Comment by Mike T on March 26, 2016 at 4:36am

They totally stuffed up with the price of the solo. the original price was ludicrous. Not even worth a look in when a phantom 3 was so much cheaper, with camera, gimbal, etc. It's hardly surprising that this has happened, but i feel it could have been avoidable as well.... honestly, what did they think was going to happen? i'm so disappoined they didnt make a dent in DJI. They really needed some penetration pricing instead of just wacking whatever they thought it was worth on the price tag. How was that ever going to work?

time to sell my solo i guess, i assume there will be pretty limited firmware updates and support now.

Comment by HyperGuy on March 26, 2016 at 4:43pm

Truth is Chris was always interested in starting a business rather than DIY. Figured this out early by watching his videos online. Problem is you can't based a business on free IP. Market forces and competition etc. Did DJI ever have an open platform? However on the positive side we got dronecode and now ardupilot.org which is great for the community. 3DR are in a tight spot but with some careful strategic plays they may be able to make it. No interest to us though. I purchased a HKPilot32 and very impressed.  the future for us are the likes of hobbyking etc...

Comment by Mauricio on March 26, 2016 at 8:32pm

Lots of funding means nothing.... sooner or later inverstors will want their food supply, its all about sales and 3DR has been loosing terraing consistently by lack of organization. Its a bubble bursting now I think.

Comment by Mauricio on March 26, 2016 at 8:34pm

I wonder for how long they will keep selling the Pixhawk before they go into big trouble


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