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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  • @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.

  • 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).

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

  • for me it looks  like a normal arducopter runaway.

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

  • @Rob i agree.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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