As most of you are aware, 3D Robotics recently paused shipments to locations outside the US and Canada. I know that there has been plenty of speculation about why this is and when shipments will resume. I also know that there has been some unhappiness about the level of transparency that 3DR has provided in this process. I'd like to give you some information that I hope you will find useful.
As we all know, this is a nascent industry and it can sometimes be a challenge to fit the things happening here into categories and regulations that were developed long ago. As such, regulatory reviews of these items are logically necessary and appropriate for 3DR and other companies in this space.
We're working with the Department of Commerce on the export classification of our flight controllers. We certainly wish that we could do so without pausing our international shipments, but as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure--we'd rather be a little extra conservative and work well with the authorities. We expect that many of the safeguards we've already put in place will help speed the process, but we need to go through a full review to ensure that once we resume exports there will be no further disruptions.
Starting tomorrow, we will make available for international shipment many items that you will find useful: cables, hardware, batteries, fiber plates, motors, and more. We'll continue to make more items available as quickly as we can.
As this moves along, we'll provide updates when there is relevant information that is helpful to share with the community. I know that you all spend some of your valuable free time on DIY Drones because you are passionate about what this technology and this community can do. Those are the same reasons that we exist as a company. We are in this for the long term, and the process we're going through now will help to put us on even more solid footing to support the increasingly international future of these products. We sincerely appreciate your constant support.
Andy Jensen, 3DR
Conveniently, I have a spare S2 as well!
Try the attopilot. It is a solid alternative, with better voltage options.
They probably filed a patent for it...
It just dawned on me are some of the developers already compiling for beagle?
That Linux distro could surely be swung to a phone as well.
@Badman, uhuhu.. Please not the S2, we don't want Apple as an enemy also.. :)
I'm in South Africa and requires a power module but I cannot order anything off the 3DR store. When will this be available to us?
> I also know that there has been some unhappiness about the level of transparency that 3DR has provided in this process. I'd like to give you some information that I hope you will find useful.
Still no transparency, Andy. And Chris. A "It's a legal issue, we can't talk about it" wouldn't, well, fly either ...
...time to dig out the ol' galaxy S2...
It's an interesting situation, if 3DR fails to come to an economically agreeable outcome it is unlikely to spell the end of 3DR, just it's International business.
VR Brain and JR Drones are already in production and since all our designs and firmware are open commons so is anybody else who wants to play.
The interesting result would be that an American Company with Australian Open Firmware and boards made in Mexico couldn't sell Internationally.
But anybody from any other country could also have boards made in Mexico and sell to whoever they want - including the US.
Score one for forward thinking there, no wonder our economy is in the toilet.
Our own government is doing a splendid job of shooting it's own economy in the foot.
Of course I'm sure this will work out OK - really!
Thanks for the support, everyone. To answer a few of the questions:
@Euan: Not yet, but hopefully soon.
@Jethro: I'm not a lawyer and can't give you the type of definitive answer that would be most helpful here, but suffice it to say that we're doing our best to take a thoughtful, collaborative approach to the regulatory process.
@Antonio: I assume you're joking. But just in case, that is categorically untrue.
@Gerard: Another case where me not being a lawyer makes it hard for me to give you a great answer to that question--I wish I had more info to provide that was ironclad. I think this process will help provide clarity on a number of details, though.
@Josh: Thanks for your confidence!
To everyone, we appreciate your patience and your support. Communities are great.
@Joshua: Wow, you really don't want to be forced to be registered under ITAR. At $2.25mil registration per year you need to be a huge player. It seems you can also be registered under the DoC, which what I'm guessing, is much more small business favourable terms. I assume this is probably what is happening now, is an assessment/application under the regulatory body that makes sense, and correct classification of the product. Interesting link, Thx.