Former DJI CEO Joins 3D Robotics

Well the big news of this week, this month and possibly this year is that Colin Guinn is back in the multicopter business and this time with 3D Robotics, his employment was confirmed this afternoon.


Colin Guinn was the global face of DJI on YouTube, known for his tutorials on using the Phantom, he specifically credited his team for DJI’s 27,000 Facebook likes and 30,000 YouTube subscribers and millions of views in the injunction against DJI that was filed on 22nd of January 2014.

The fact 3D Robotics is a US company and Guinn has experience building up a multicopter brand in America makes for an interesting combination.

The multicopter masses had a love hate relationship with Colin Guinn, his tutorials on the Phantom were universally well received but there was frustration that problems such as fly-aways were never really addressed except on one video by Mitch Bergsma, which DJI recently tried to have taken down but appeared to relent after a social media outcry, even this video presented fly-aways as a preventable user error which isn’t a fair analysis.

If Colin Guinn enters the social media limelight for 3D Robotics, it would be welcomed if this time around there’s a more open and honest appraisal of the benefits along with the risks of using multicopters.

Colin Guinn clearly is successful at marketing but new users of multicopters such as those from professional photography backgrounds expect excellent customer service such as that offered by Canon, so marketing spin alone isn’t enough.  3D Robotics has to date offered, especially to IRIS users, very good customer service, that is a focus it cannot afford to lose.

In the injunction against DJI, the marketing achievements of Colin Guinn were cited:

3D Robotics is playing catch up, whilst its newest quadcopter the IRIS has a loyal following and has a lot of power features, it clearly wasn’t designed for video photography and the offering of the Tarot gimbal really isn’t inspiring.  With Colin Guinn on board, could his passion for creating video with multicopters help 3D Robotics redefine its product offerings?

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  • @mP1: "You made a big claim about flyaways and DJI products."

    Being a bit legalistic there, it's not hard to find examples. I've had it happen several times on my Naza M Lite. Search youtube for "Naza flyaway" and you will get many examples (including mine), and you'll see they are all quite similar. Trappy has even reported it has happened to him and he has no motivation to bash DJI.

    It's surprising to run into folks that still believe it doesn't happen, especially around here.

  • 3D Robotics

    mP1: Thanks for the feedback on the documentation, but I wanted to be sure that you knew that the wiki is created by the volunteer community here, not 3DR. I'm sure the developers and editors would love your help in implementing your excellent suggestions.  If you can PM me an email address, I can ask the editors to add you to that group so you can work with them directly to make those improvements.

  • @ mP1 Great info in your first post. To address your 2nd post, I did not write the story above, I only posted to share with the group.
  • I think this is a very SMART move on 3DR's part.

  • The multicopter masses had a love hate relationship with Colin Guinn, his tutorials on the Phantom were universally well received but there was frustration that problems such as fly-aways were never really addressed

    I'm not sure how people can pin this on Colin.  Was Colin the calling the shots on this, or were his hands tied?  

    To answer that, maybe have a look at how things are in DJI-land now that he's not there.  Well, they recently went through a completely terrible situation with the A2, their flagship controller.  The system has been for sale for how long now?  Until recently, it seems people have not been happy with the performance. As if it was released before the firmware was ready.  Then, a fix was pushed out with the number 2.2  However, early testers found the firmware was VERY bad, and pretty much crash-o-matic.  A few days later, after a number of people crashed expensive machines, DJI's representatives on various web forums stated that the problem had been fixed by DJI who replaced the firmware being dispensed by the servers, BUT DID NOT REV THE NUMBER! This led to a lot of confusion.  Some people didn't believe the representatives, because there was no mention of this officially from DJI.  And some people wanted to know how to get the update, it wasn't clear.  If they already had the "old 2.2" then there was no way to update to the "new 2.2".  Because DJI's uploader thought they were up to date.  The only way to force it, was to use a link in an obscure post by a DJI Rep, to backdate to 2.1.  Then, if they re-update, they'd get the "new 2.2".  

    Meanwhile, one user had bought a brand new RTF system from a DJI dealer, and assumed the 2.2 that was on it was the fixed version.  There was no way to tell.  Nope.  Crash.

    Finally, several days later DJI released 2.3.  They never admitted to causing a mess, or even the faults with the old one.  But just cited a few random improvements.

    I'll let you decide if you think Colin is responsible for DJI's mess 6 months after he left.


     even this video presented fly-aways as a preventable user error which isn’t a fair analysis.


    Its not fair to make a statement like that without backing it up with facts supporting your case. Im not defending either side of the argument, i appreciate your bias particularly given you sell 3DR products but if your going to say something negative against someone then you really should be prepared to defend your side rather than just assuming that we "trust" your conclusions.

    In court cases the crown provides not only accusations of the police but evidence for their conclusions in court. One should always be prepared to give examples in such cases. You made a big claim about flyaways and DJI products.

  • Amazing, the can open an office for a celebrity exec, but they cant hire / afford to have the docs up to date. Disappointing. Some critical sections are over 2 years old. 

    *Advanced configuration*

    - Wheres the motor calibration gui guide ?

    - Screenshots show v 2 BETA. Perhaps one of the top three most important pages and its over 2 years old.

    - Lots of those options are no longer possible because they were removed from the APM releases in recent versions due to low flash space.

    - Sure this is generated from source, but what version ? How do i know the values, and ranges apply to my version ?

    - I know google is an option but links to download this should be available here. Given the original minimosd has been basically dead for 2 or more years says much about how stale this page is.

    - There are other firmwares and yet none are even mentioned ? Why not do the customer and users a favour and gather all that here and save everyone the bother of searching themselves.

    - Another stale screen, that must be at least 6 months perhaps more. I cant recall when MP 1.2.92 came out but we now at 1.3.5. Another critical page that is hopelessly out of date and woefully incomplete.

    - Every single pid value should be listed here with their ranges and bounds. Symptoms for each value should be mentioned so users can self diagnose. If X is to low, you get this Y, if its too high you get Z and so on.

    Last but not least where are the versions on every page. How is a poor newbie supposed to know if something is current if theres no version info ? Thats just common sense. Banks date statements, software products always mention compatibility but this is completely absent from every single page.

    This documentation should be the starting point, always up to date and make life easier for everyone. But its not. I could point out other basic unprofessional mistakes but ive said enough for now.

    Its no wonder with such bad documentation people have crashes, and get in the news. Sure there are idiots there, but with help like that even well intentioned people make mistakes.

  • No, now will be Arducopters fly a ways  !!!

  • Now can he finally discuss Naza flyaways?

  • Not sure if there was any truth to the 1 Reddit conspiracy theory, but at least it didn't affect his bottom line.  If he was a worker, it would have ended his career.

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