Users of GoPro’s failed “Karma” drone are reporting that their drones have been unable to fly since the new year began. According to numerous forum and social media posts from across the globe, the drone is more-or-less bricked due to a lack of GPS signal.
The Verge first reported on the widespread complaints over the weekend, drawing the conclusion that the GPS issues are likely due to something called a clock “rollover” in the GPS and GLONASS satellite systems. If this is, in fact, the issue, it could have been avoided with a simple software update; however, as The Verge points out, the discontinued drone hasn’t seen a software update since September of 2018.
Users are understandably upset:
Sorry, Tomwells. We do not have an update yet.
— GoPro (@GoPro) January 5, 2020
GoPro first introduced the Karma drone in September of 2016 to much fanfare, but the drone started causing problems almost immediately. Reviewers called it “unquestionably terrible” compared to industry-leading drones by DJI, and that was before they literally started falling out of the sky due to a faulty battery clasp.
GoPro finally backed out of the drone space in January of 2018, discontinuing the Karma drone and promising to “continue to provide service and support to Karma customers,” but it seems the company has largely failed on that front thus far.
Fortunately, now that this issue has received some media attention, GoPro is getting its act together. A GoPro spokesperson told The Verge that they are “actively troubleshooting” the issue, so hopefully an update and fix is in the wings, so to speak.
UPDATE 1/7/20: GoPro has published a blog post confirming the issue with the Karma Drone’s GPS system and promising to issue a firmware fix “within the week.” You can read the full blog post here.