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DJI Spark Drones Will Not Fly Starting Sept. 1 Unless Owners Install Mandatory Firmware Update

23 August 2017, 11:15 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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DJI will roll out a firmware update for the Spark after reports that some drones were falling out of the sky. For safety, DJI will prevent Spark drones that have not upgraded their firmware from taking flight starting Sept. 1.  ( DJI )

DJI Spark owners should install the mandatory firmware update that will be released this week by the manufacturer, or else their drone will be grounded starting Sept. 1.

The DJI Spark firmware update will add several improvements to the drone, including enhancing its safety features to prevent a dangerous issue.

DJI Spark Firmware Update

China-based drone manufacturer DJI said in a press release that the new firmware update for the Spark drone will enhance its battery management system, for the optimization of power supply while in flight.

The DJI Spark firmware update comes after reports that some of the drones were falling out of the sky, a problem that might endanger the pilots and people around them. It is believed that the battery firmware of the DJI Spark drone is at fault, and the company is now providing a solution the problem.

To download the firmware update, users will need to launch the DJI GO 4 app or the DJI Assistant 2 desktop software. DJI Spark owners will need to install the updated firmware before Sept. 1, as drones with firmware not updated by that date will not be able to fly.

"DJI decided on the option of a mandatory firmware update in order to maximize flight safety and product reliability which we consider as top priorities," the company said in a press release.

The firmware upgrade will also add support to fully integrate the DJI Spark with the DJI Goggles, optimize the PalmLaunch function for increased stability upon taking off from the pilot's palm, improve control accuracy under the QuickShot Dronie mode, and enhance remote controller compatibility when syncing with firmware updates.

DJI Spark vs GoPro Karma

The issue of drones losing power and falling out of the sky might sound familiar for drone enthusiasts, as it was the same problem that plagued the launch of the GoPro Karma drone.

GoPro issued a recall order for the Karma drone just 16 days after it was launched, as there were cases of the drone losing power while in mid-flight. The problem, said to be caused by the physical design of the GoPro Karma, was fixed with a redesigned battery latch. The drone was then relaunched in February.

Fortunately for DJI, the problem with the Spark is a firmware problem and not a hardware one. As such, it will not need to issue a product recall and simply roll out an update to prevent the DJI Spark drone from falling out of the sky and potentially causing injuries.

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