DJI will be pushing a mandatory firmware update this week in an effort to improve the safety and performance of the Spark. There have been reports of flight issues with the Chinese manufacturer’s smallest drone, and the update promises to “enhances Spark’s battery management system to optimize power supply during flight”.
As well as (hopefully) putting an end to the small number of pilots watching helplessly as their Spark drones fall out of the sky, the update will optimize a range of other features.
As well as improving the reliability of the Spark, the new firmware has added support to fully integrate Spark with the DJI Goggles. It will also fix bugs in the PalmLaunch function to offer better stability after takeoff. And there will be improvements made to optimize the accuracy of controls when using QuickShot Dronie mode.
How Will the DJI Spark Firmware Update be Implemented?
According to DJI, “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.”
The Spark will be prevented from taking off after September 1st unless the update is applied. In a statement, DJI said that it had “decided on the option of a mandatory firmware update in order to maximize flight safety and product reliability”.
Although the idea of a forced firmware update may be concerning for some – particularly when take off will be blocked until it is applied – the priority is safety here, and it’s in the interests of all Spark pilots that their drones are as reliable as possible. If DJI has found a specific software problem that’s causing its drones to fall out of the sky, it would be remiss not to 1. Issue a recall or 2. Make the fix mandatory.
There’s no doubt which of those options is more PR friendly.