DJI Recalls GPS Compasses Causing S800 UAS to Fail

By Caroline Rees / 29 Oct 2012
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The S800 Hex-Rotor UAV is affected by the bug

DJI, one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturers in UAV systems, has announced a voluntary recall of all WooKong-M GPS compasses purchased after June 15th, 2012. The new compasses’ firmware contained a bug that, under very specific conditions, could send an erratic signal causing a spike in power and overall system failure. DJI confirmed both the fault and the bug fix by flying four S800s under heavy burden on electric tether for more than 72 hours without failure.

Since learning of the system failures during several S800 flights, DJI spent more than 1600 man hours in research and testing to determine the fault and develop a solution for customers. Through the vigorous research process, DJI engineers not only fixed the bug in the firmware, but also developed multiple new innovations for the WooKong-M GPS compass.

In turn, DJI is also developing a new firmware upgrade for the WooKong-M IMU based on the innovations developed for the compass bug fix. The IMU firmware upgrade will be released within the next several weeks and will have superior solutions for the following: better resistance to vibration, less white lights and better compass tracking. A further announcement will be made when this firmware enhancement will be available.

All customers with WooKong-M GPS compasses purchased after June 15th, 2012 should click here to get information on returning their GPS/Compass module for firmware upgrade. Until users of large multi-rotors (S800 size and larger) fitted with post-June 15th compasses complete the GPS/compass recall, DJI highly recommends not flying to eliminate the potential of system failure.

DJI is excited that the company not only discovered the fault and developed a fix, but also created a superior firmware in the process. The company looks forward to working with all customers to quickly replace their affected compasses and get everyone back in the air.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact