Firmware refers to an electronic device’s control program. It cannot be changed or updated during device use, with standard examples including the embedded systems found in digital watches and traffic lights. So what does it entail in regards to drones?
The biggest debate surrounding drones is the privacy issue, as they can function as devices for spying, whether on a personal or professional level. However, more and more steps are being taken to ensure privacy, including the establishment of no-fly zones. For example, all drone models, including the DJI Phantom 2, are not allowed to fly over Washington, D.C. Firmware has subsequently been updated in regards to this and other no-fly zones. Drone juggernaut DJI is continuing to update its firmware to accommodate these zones as well.
Running out of proverbial steam is another common problem facing drones, with firmware accounting for this. Drones are being modified to initiate fail-safe landing so users may continue to control their unmanned aerial vehicles’ altitude and position.
Typically, firmware and firmware updates are installed with the help of correlating video tutorials, operation manuals, and the latest PC software. For example, if installing firmware in a DJI Phantom 2 or other Phantom drone models, you’ll need to register on the DJI website to obtain access to the latest firmware. You’ll also need to download DJI drivers and Phantom assistants to your PC; if you have a Mac you will not need to download the DJI driver, as there’s a Mac version of the assistant software.
The USB cable that comes with your drone is also necessary for installing or updating firmware correctly. The rest of the process simply involves launching your assistant and following the instructions.
These are merely some of the basics surrounding drone firmware. For more on quadcopters, including drone accessories, please contact DroneFly today.