GoPro officially exited the drone business in early 2018 after the disastrous launch of the action-cam manufacturer’s first and only drone: the GoPro Karma.
This week, the company’s remaining pilots have been left grounded, struck by a related issue to what was last year dubbed the ‘GPS Week Number Rollover’ glitch – an avoidable design quirk that effectively prevents older devices accessing GPS systems after a certain date – unless they are patched.
According to The Verge, the issue appears to be rooted in the GLONASS satellite system, which was set to reset on New Year’s Day 2020. It has been avoided by other manufacturers with a simple software update.
GoPro last updated the Karma nine months after discontinuing it, in September 2018. According to various reports, a similar GPS glitch to the one that affected older gadgets from TomTom and Garmin last year has now left Karma pilots unable to use their drones.
We will definitely post an update once we hear back from our product team. Thank you for your patience and understanding.” – GoPro
Pilots have taken to GoPro’s own forums to explain GPS signal errors and compass calibration issues. It appears as though the Karma is completely grounded, for now.
From bad to worse for GoPro
Considering the amount of money it cost to buy a GoPro Karma, pilots are entitled to expect some level of ongoing support in the form of regular updates. It looks as though this particular issue has caught the company by surprise. They have said publicly that a fix is on the way.
The manufacturer was forced out of the drone business following disappointing sales of the Karma, which was recalled a matter of days after launch in November 2016. A battery issue was causing units to fall out of the sky unexpectedly, which proved an appropriate analogy for GoPro’s drone industry fortunes.