3D Robotics

3DR's Rise and Fall


Tough Market

“We exited hardware and we exited consumer partly because it was a tough market,” he said. “DJI is an amazing company and lots of people got pounded.

“It was just brutal.”

"We’re a Silicon Valley company and we’re supposed to be doing software and there are Chinese companies that are supposed to be doing hardware.”

Can't say I agree with some of these statements, but alas, this has all played out already. Other interesting tidbits relating to a previously proposed acquisition by DJI are also in the article.

Describes one of the last chapters of the 3DR history book fairly accurately though.

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2016/10/05/3d-robotics-solo-crash-chris-anderson

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  • T3

    I've been reading up a lot and while expensive, I have read a lot of good news about the Android app Solex, which is an alternative to the official Solo app and seems to work much better. At $30, it's really expensive but might be worth it. I've accumulated so much credit on Google Play that it's not a big deal but there seems to be one person that's already working on a separate app.
  • @Rob -- do you think that this fly-away might be symptomatic of the said EKF issue. http://3drpilots.com/threads/video-of-possible-ekf-fly-away.6528/

  • Hi all,

    It does occur to me that we really need some sort of coordinated Solo firmware and Android support, both to fix existing bugs and possibly even add improvements.

    If 3DR is actually not going to be doing this, we really need to find a reasonable path forward.

    I would think if 3DR is actually not going to be doing that that they should at least be amenable to providing the means necessary for us or a third party to do so.

    The fact of the matter is that there are already a lot of Solos out there and a whole lot more sitting in warehouses somewhere and they are still a really, really great piece of hardware.

    A significant resource that should be exploited and not just abandoned.

    Any thoughts or responses?

    Best regards,


  • @ Francisco,

    Yes, definitely thank you for that.

  • Thank you for that.


    David R. Boulanger

  • The issue isn't the firmware, it's in the Android app. Anyway, just don't use Return to Me, Return to Home should work fine.

  • Rob,  I just bought one and will arrive in a week or less.  Is there anyway not to update it with the "Fly away version"?



    David R. Boulanger

  • The only thing that is truly ring-fenced from competition is this community site diydrones. Who starts a business these days in hardware or software without a "he's got it - so I must have it" viral component that holds consumers into a community or activity that is in the process of achieving the network effect, ala facebook, linkedin, etc. Without said network effect component, your business is forever open to competitive onslaughts one of which may eventually inflict a fatal body blow. I saw my first quadcopter on diydrones back in 2008/09 time frame, and I kept coming back to this site 2-3 times per month to listen to the people and ideas to keep in touch with the latest that was going on - this site represented the go to source for the latest on this amazing new technology and the people that were creating it. 

    Every week saw dozens of new people and even startups proudly announcing their latest invention or new product to the diydrones community. In spite of the fall of 3DR, I hope this site continues to provide the content and community that it once did for many of us.

  • @Jesus A.

    Sure, there is some anti 3DR sentiment going around at the moment but that's part of the game. 3DR made a decision. It was totally their prerogative and part of the risk they were taking. One result of that decision was alienating a large segment of their original base (back in the day, as a young parent, hand to mouth, with no job security, I still refused to buy Chinese clones and bought directly from 3DR) and now sending Jordi packing.

    I 'm sorry, I fully acknowledge that 3DR didn't owe it to anybody to justify what they did, it's their company they do what they want with it. Equally, it's my money, my loyalty and my emotions and I will use them as I feel like, which, at the moment means identifying someone who can fill the 3DR hole left in the market and supporting them with my money. I 'm very curious to see how Jordi does, the first blog post made me smile.

    Hello world!
    hello world, we are mRobotics (mayan robotics) This our first mRobotics post. Testing, testing. Stay tuned for more news! 
  • Wow.  I'm just now learning about the critical fly-away bug introduced into the Solo software stack by 3DR on the last update.  This is a real flyaway, as it sends the wrong GPS coordinate to Return To Me.  So if it's RTM'ing due to signal loss, that's it, it's gone.  And 3DR was told about this during the Beta testing stage, and did nothing about it.  Also they were told about the stability regression because of something they did wrong with the EKF, because they haven't retained the people necessary to fix this.  And released it anyway.

    If this is the quality that Enterprise vendors can expect from 3DR, it really won't be long.

    Shame.  For years I've trumpeted that Ardupilot does not have true "flyaways" (my definition, which is only when the craft actively flies away and cannot be returned under manual control).  But 3DR managed to stuff that up in short order.

    I've actually not updated my Solo to the latest, never got around to it.  Glad I didn't. I wonder if this will ever be fixed now?

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