Drones are not ready for the mass consumer market

Unreliable. Dangerous. Unpredictable spinning knives. Accidents waiting to happen.

Imagine selling a lawn mower with no protection for the spinning blades. 

Class actions must surely follow against the manufacturers.

Views: 2752

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on October 30, 2016 at 9:20am

I don't blame inexperienced users at all. The problem lies on the companies portraying and selling PNP drones as something anyone can just pick up and fly however they like.

This girl is a Youtuber and I've seen videos where she flies the Mavic. So she's used to having optical flow keeping the drone stationary in GPS restricted environments. And clearly she expected the Karma to behave the same.

Comment by Gary McCray on October 30, 2016 at 2:30pm

Many of us here have been complaining about overselling the autonomous and "safety" features with the clear intent of letting people think they don't actually need to know how to fly these things.

Certainly I have been extremely vocal about it.

Frankly 3DR and Chris have been the most vocal supporters of the anybody can do it with no training concept.

The Solo was the first real attempt to deliver on that promise.

And the Phantoms sort of followed suit.

And now with the Matrix and the Karma you actually have two quadcopters that can sort of do it.

The problem is that in many ways that is not a good thing.

I believe I likely coined the term flying lawnmower 6 years ago and except for a few small incidents we haven't had much trouble because mostly people who understood the limitations of these things were flying them.

Certainly, especially with the consumer marketed Phantoms there have been some public displays of stupidity.

But till now it hasn't really exploded.

Like it or not, the consumer drone is now here and the consumers are clueless.

There will be blood!

Fortunately the FAA has actually managed to produce a set of viable regulations for both hobby and commercial use in advance of this, so to at least some degree, it can be handled.

It will get unfortunate amounts of press, but in the end, that should inform the public that they actually have a genuine responsibility to operate these things correctly and safely.

Best regards,


Comment by Chad Frazer on October 30, 2016 at 8:07pm

Lots to say about her experience.  The longer I mess with these things the more I realize that they are not for everyone.  That said I'd not want to be the one to figure out who should fly and who shouldn't either.  I don't have a solution so I'll leave it at that.

Yeah, bad place to fly at the very least.

Comment by K V on October 30, 2016 at 10:12pm

People should be trained to some level before flying one of these. Just gets them to understand the limitations of the system. Quads/UAVs are something that most people haven't experienced or considered the limitations of and they should get trained to understand what they are capable of and what they are not. She was definitely flying in an area she should not have done so and she was pretty lucky nothing worse happened.

You are not allowed to drive a car or bike unless you go through a driving school and why are people assuming that this is not the same.

Comment by Hans H. on October 31, 2016 at 8:22am

Comment by Pete Hollands on November 1, 2016 at 3:23am

An interesting edge case of No GPS, then GPS for the DJI Mavic Drone. Switch on the Google Captions with translations to understand what is being said in English.

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on November 1, 2016 at 4:10am

That edge case is kinda obvious and in my opinion the Mavic did the only thing it realistically could do.

They took of in opti (optical tracking) mode in a environment with terrible GPS reception. You can see the remote switching between OPTI, GPS and ATTI mode multiple times during the flight as GSP reception comes and goes.

When it left the terrace out into the open it suddenly had a huge error in ground truth, and was most likely outside the range of the sensors to detect the ground. And having no reliable GPS position to compensate, it did the only thing it could do which was to slowly descend towards the ground to either get back into sensor range or do a controlled emergency landing in case of sensor failure. After a while once it had reestablished ground truth and at least gotten some GPS reception, normal operation was resumed.

Overall I'm actually impressed by how well it dealt with the case.

Comment by David Boulanger on November 1, 2016 at 5:34am

At least she kept the dog inside.


David R. Boulanger

Comment by Sergey on November 1, 2016 at 6:36am

Here is an example, how a drone with a lot of sensors does the same exercise:

In most cases the problem is definitely not in the drone.

Comment by Cala on November 1, 2016 at 7:05am

The poor drones needs a sensor against humans LOL


You need to be a member of DIY Drones to add comments!

Join DIY Drones

© 2019   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service