Featured Multirotor Safety

DJI Spark owners must update firmware by 1st September 2017


News has arrived of a mandatory firmware update from DJI.  Owners of DJI’s latest and smallest quadcopter must update their firmware by September 1st or their machines will automatically ground themselves.

The reason for the firmware update is, apparently, to stop in-flight shutdowns that have been occurring. So no bad thing to fix, a safety issue.

What is questionable perhaps, is DJI’s ability to brick other people’s property if required. The “Kill Switch” option is already causing consternation in user groups.

DJI will be releasing a new firmware update today to further enhance flight safety and performance of the DJI Spark. 

“The new firmware update enhances Spark’s battery management system to optimize power supply during flight. In addition, the new firmware has added support to fully integrate Spark with the DJI Goggles, optimized the PalmLaunch function for better stability after takeoff, improved the accuracy of controls under the QuickShot Dronie mode and enhanced the compatibility of the remote controller when syncing up with new firmware updates. 

When prompted on the DJI GO 4 App, users with internet connectivity will be able to download the new firmware to update their aircraft’s and battery’s firmware. The aircraft and battery firmware updates can also be done via the DJI Assistant 2 desktop software. If the firmware of either the aircraft or the battery is not updated by September 1, Spark will not be able to take off. 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 update comes after DJI released new features for its Spark in early August to deliver a more powerful combination of video and photo improvements including a new gesture to start and stop video recording and enhanced QuickShot video features for more cinematic control.”

When I wrote this last May, I received a great deal of flack. It was said that DJI would never force updates. This one does make sense though, so I understand that.

It was also said that they could not brick their machines from a distance. I guess we will have to wait for September 1st to see.


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