DJI is publishing a firmware update to its Spark drone (a US $499 mini drone) to enhance “battery management system to optimize power supply during flight.” Besides enhancing Spark’s battery management system, there are also other improvements included:
- adds support to fully integrate Spark with the DJI Goggles
- optimizes the PalmLaunch function for better stability after takeoff
- improves the accuracy of controls under the QuickShot Dronie mode
- enhances the compatibility of the remote controller when syncing up with new firmware updates
DJI has announced that the firmware update is mandatory and that you need to apply it by September 1–or your “Spark will not be able to take off.”
Why is the fix mandatory? What is hinted at, but not spelled out clearly in the press release, is that the firmware update is an urgent fix for a power supply issue where its Spark drone just shuts off while in flight, causing it to suddenly drop out of the sky.
While it is concerning that DJI can remotely disable our drones, fixing drones that unexpectedly and suddenly fall out of the sky certainly qualifies as a top safety priority that every Spark owner should take seriously and apply immediately.
So, DJI did the correct thing in issuing a mandatory firmware update.
DJI Spark Firmware Update Enhances Flight Safety
DJI will be releasing a new firmware update this week 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.