DJI confirmed an issue with the Inspire's firmware...

You might have seen this video before. Recently there's been some rumours about IMU issues of the new DJI drone Inspire.

The company just confirmed the issue, and they are fixing it in a hurry. It might never happened, if it was an open source software ;), just saying.

Don't Trust Your Expensive Autonomous Drone to Always Be Autonomous 

Everybody is super excited about affordable, portable autonomous drones this year. Well, affordable might be stretch. The badass new DJI Inspire costs $2,900, but it can fly around shooting video in 4K without any help. One problem: A bug in the firmware is making Inspire drift randomly—and crash.

Just ask Mark Taylor. The experienced drone pilot recently bought DJI's expensive new masterpiece and was excited to use the drone's auto-takeoff feature to "do a house fly-by for real estate." (This is potentially illegal, but we won't tell.) After experiencing some "shimming and drifting," Taylor decided to film a flight so that he could send the feedback to DJI. "This happened with no operator input just in auto take off mode," he said in the video's YouTube description. What happened? The flying robot almost took out his wife!

In an email to Gizmodo, DJI confirmed that there was an issue with the Inspire's firmware. (We can only assume that this dangerous random drifting is related.) The company said that its "product support team has noted the issue and is currently taking care of it." A fix is due to be released in the next 24 to 36 hours.

Nevertheless, Mark Taylor's scary video is a great reason not to trust your supposedly autonomous drone. We've already seen how problematic human drone pilots can be—and more problems are surely to comeWe've also had our own problems with DJI's earlier autonomous flight features in the past. 

Your very expensive new toy may say it can fly itself, but do steer clear of those propellors. You never know when your drone will get a mind of its own. [YouTube via Daily Dot]



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Comment by on January 21, 2015 at 6:27am

Well ... experienced drone pilot would probably not hold controller in one hand and camera in the other. Just one simple move of the right stick would probably save these 3000 USD.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on January 21, 2015 at 7:08am

I don't want to beat up DJI too badly over this.  These things happen.  DJI's transparency in dealing with the problem is a refreshing change from their past behaviors.  It's important for vendors to be open and honest about problems, instead of covering them up.  

These problems are very hard to prevent in development.  We know this.  I think what DJI has really done wrong, is trying to maintain 2, 3, 4, even 5 different flight control codes.  I think they do this in an attempt to split the market, selling at different price points, from $170 to $11,300.  It means they need to maintain all these different programs, which costs more money.

Comment by Greg Dronsky on January 21, 2015 at 7:12am

@Rob i agree.

There is always some little bug waiting to be discovered. Hope they will fix it quickly.

Comment by robert bouwens on January 21, 2015 at 9:06am

for me it looks  like a normal arducopter runaway.

and i have been running a few times using apm ...

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on January 21, 2015 at 10:20am

Robert, that is not at all normal for Arducopter.  If yours does that, you have a problem that needs to be fixed.

Comment by Cliff-E on January 21, 2015 at 11:56am

Choose your problem:

a. auto gyro zeroing (likely required due to the articulating arms compared to a normal copter, a la APM, MWC, etc...).

b. accelo glitch (yikes!)

c. GPS glitch or GPS multipath (so far everyone seems to be using 'both loops' of their position controller on takeoff--really, really, just say NO).

I really wish he posted the aftermath (of parts).

Comment by earthpatrol on January 21, 2015 at 12:50pm

@Cliff-E I would like to see the damage up close as well. I would expect that frame to be more durable and am curious as to how it failed on, what seemed to be a minor impact.

Comment by Henrique Ferreira Lima on January 21, 2015 at 2:12pm

I live in Brazil, wookong My GPS was twice DJI to solve problems; I have a Naza Lite has never recognized the GPS and even calling for a solution of the problem never answered. Lack of consideration customer. the various equipment . I have  various equipment the DJI ( naza v2, data link, etc ..) after that never bought anything from them.

Comment by technicus acityone on January 21, 2015 at 3:48pm

there is place for lol and clinical antiDJI company?
bug in any products is unavoidable.
dat bug was fixx week ago.
of cource will be new and they will by fixxd too. if they will by real.
hundred tousdand pilots use DJI products - but only some  make endless and senseless hate speech.
but wtа are you talking about?
u wanna realtime resolve any yours problems and troubles? oye?
may be its time for stay quiet and reasonable and begin make some adequate thoughts? ;)

Comment by Darrell Burkey on January 21, 2015 at 4:43pm

Should the code that operates these devices have a requirement to be independently certified before being released to the public? Or is that not realistic? At least with Arducopter everyone can see what's being done. If there's an issue someone will find it sooner or later (usually sooner).


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