DJI was the unfortunate drone brand of choice to pay an unplanned visit to the White House. The company responded days later with an update that added some new safety features, including GPS geofencing that stops the drone flying about near sensitive places: like the White House.
However, it has paused the roll-out of the update after a few reports that “unanticipated flight behavior after updating” to Phantom firmware v3.10. For now, the company advises that Phantom pilots stick to older versions for now until those safety upgrades are completely, well, safe. As Wired recently reported, it’s in the best interests of DJI to ensure its drones aren’t flying where they shouldn’t be…
Less than two weeks before that high profile crash landing, officials from the FAA, US military and the Department of Homeland Security attended a conference outlining the potential terror uses of drones — using the same models that Joe Normal can buy right now.
Presentations included hobbyist drones firing semi-automatic weapons, and (incredibly) an exercise where a wave of drones won out against a convoy of armored vehicles. A DJI Phantom 2 was also one of several drones loaded with inert explosive: that’s the latest iteration of the drone that landed at the White House days later. DJI’s latest update not only included forced landings if its drones were frolicking near buildings important to national security and airports, but also the ability to access mobile data services while using the WiFi range extender, as well as a warning to not take off if the drone / pilot doesn’t have sufficient GPS signal — another effort to avoid unwanted crashes and incidents.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com