The fun part about drones? The way they zip through the sky. Not so fun? If they come crashing to the ground unexpectedly. That’s why the maker of popular Spark drones is telling owners they’ll have to install an update that keeps their aircraft aloft — or face grounding.
Drone company DJI said in July that only a “small number” of Spark owners were losing power in mid-flight, sending the mini camera drones tumbling to the ground.
It’s now pushing out a firmware fix to enhance “Spark’s battery management system to optimize power supply during flight,” DJI says.
Spark owners using the DJI GO 4 App will be prompted to download the update when they’re connected to the internet. They can also install it via the DJI Asisstant 2 desktop software.
There’s a timer on this update if you want to keep flying, however: If the firmware isn’t updated by Sept. 1, Spark drones 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 company said.
Buggy drones are nothing new: Last year, GoPro was forced to recall its Karma drones after some of them simply stopped working.