Biggest Solo software update ever: adds Rewind, Augmented Reality, Pano and more

Rewind and Return to Me

With the press of a button, Solo will retrace its exact path for the last 60 feet of your flight (this distance will be user-definable in the app) to ensure it avoids obstacles on its way back home. And with the new “return to me” feature, Solo will come home to wherever you stand with your controller and mobile device.

Meet the new Smart Shots — Zipline and Pano

Zipline + Spot Lock

Set an infinite cable in any direction, just by pushing a button. Fly up and down this line, controlling speed and direction as well as the camera. Zipline also has a “spot lock” feature, which works like an Orbit point of focus, but instead of flying in a circle you’re flying in a straight line. Set your zipline, look at something, press spot lock and Solo keeps the camera fixed on it while Solo passes, for a dramatic flyby.


The perfect aerial panorama. Set up your shot, and Solo automatically pans and snaps the right photos at the right time, for cylindrical, spherical (“little world”) or video panos.

Augmented Reality

The Solo app will overlay visuals in real time on your mobile screen. You can see your home point, or make sure your Orbit point of focus is exactly where you want it to be before you fly your Smart Shot.

Custom Geofencing

Define a virtual fence around Solo at any time in flight. You create this virtual “safety net” by setting four points on your satellite view, which creates an area around Solo that the drone can’t leave. Set your fence before taking off, or set and adjust its location while flying, allowing you to easily block off nearby obstacles or entire areas at any time.

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Comment by Ben on June 18, 2016 at 10:38pm

Looks promising, curious to see real life videos of these features.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 20, 2016 at 6:45am

Hi Chris, can you please give a clear and firm statement on the status of Android support in the future?  I bought a Solo with my own hard earned money just a couple months ago, and it appears already that my operating system of choice is no longer supported.  I'm starting to seriously think of doing a charge-back.  The GPS performance is bad enough as it is it's almost unusable, this is the final straw.

3D Robotics
Comment by Vu Tran on June 20, 2016 at 11:54am

Hi Rob, we will be releasing Solo Android 2.4 in a few weeks. It will have the Zip, Pano, Return to Me, and Return and Hover. Unfortunately, we're not planning to have AR or Geofence, those features will only be on iOS. As always, all bugs and issues will continue to be addressed ASAP.

Comment by Philip on June 20, 2016 at 12:11pm
Hi Vu
Thanks for finally getting an answer out.

Now that you have also clarified that only bug fixes will be coming in the future, and that iOS is now the primary platform, how about some pressure on Berkeley to release the Andtoid code as open source, and see if the community takes up the challenge to continue Android development.

This is clearly in the long term interest of Solo customers, and 3DR as well.

As far as the GPS Rob, have a look on the Solo Facebook page. 3DR released an amazing new GPS and shield system that fixes all the GPS issues that have plagued Solo from day 1.

3DR have promised an answer on how people can get support on this matter.

The frustrating thing here is that Solo is an awesome platform, and that there are solutions that have been worked out by the awesome engineering team for all the known issues, so I continue to be amazed that these are taking so long to be shown to the customers.

But again, it's great that 3DR are willing to be flexible and adjust their directions according to customers needs.

Thanks Vu
Comment by Marc Dornan on June 20, 2016 at 12:36pm
So Phillip is it confirmed the issue is RF noise floor reducing GPS sensitivity. People have been reporting this since day 1. It is jaw-dropping that the Solos being sold 1 year past release have this issue - not a reflection on the engineering team. 3DR are not the only ones to have hit this sort of issue on release. Do you think a better ground plane and shielded Ublox M8 module would also work ( i.e. Drotek or CSG units).

Comment by Philip on June 20, 2016 at 1:12pm
Hi Marc
This has nothing to do with m8n vs 7N etc... In fact a generic m8n will not perform as well as the 3DR Rev B module.

The 3DR team did a great job with the Rev B module, it tunes the antenna for its position in Solo, it has a significantly improved RF filtering and amplification section, it has shielding over the critical RF section, and adds a RF shield layer that significantly out performs the old copper shield.

Again, for Solo only... The M8N is not any better than the 7N due to the needed wideband antenna on the M8N for GLONASS. That's a long and complex issue for another thread.

The correct GPS for Solo is the Rev B
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 20, 2016 at 1:12pm

It's not just 1 year this has been going on Marc, this is the *exact* issue that I used to argue with... what's his name... on RCG about the "5 minute GPS Warm-up" about.  This was a known issue a long time ago.  Never should have happened to Solo.

So how can people get the corrected GPS board?  The last thing I tried to use the Solo for, it couldn't get a GPS lock at all, and I was in a remote location, definitely not close to any buildings or radio interference.

Comment by Philip on June 20, 2016 at 1:17pm
@Rob... The warmup time is more about the backup battery... That circuit has also been revamped in RevB. Lookup the Datasheet on the battery (GPS on solo is a derivative of the OSHW 3DR GPS, schematics were downloadable in the old store) then look at the appendix that specifies the current limiting resistor... Then measure yours on solo...

Rev A is just not great. That was known from day one. Rev B is awesome, 3DR engineering did really well on it.
Comment by Harry Courter on June 20, 2016 at 1:18pm

I understand this is Chris Anderson's baby, and its impressive.

However, As a DYI person, I am envious, and just a touch resentful, that these features, and others, are not available to the DIY community.  I do understand that from a business perspective it is better to develop proprietary systems that are not offered to the community at large.  Perhaps a companion computer with such added benefits could be offered to DIY pixhawk owners, not open source, but as an additional option to the Pixhawk FC.  Lets not forget the Name of this Site, or give up building our own drones.

Comment by Philip on June 20, 2016 at 1:22pm
@Harry. Better is coming, have a look at the companion computer work at

DIY is alive and well, solo is actually a great example of what Ardupilot can do!


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