How do you guys feel about the latest gimbal update from 3DR?

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We had projects planned for this summer based on 3DR's promised ship date. We even padded the dates of those projects to allow for the inevitable delays. We never expected this much of a delay. I appreciate 3DR's efforts to keep us updated and the kind gesture of a free battery. But I wish we had been given more accurate information at the time of purchase. It didn't fully dawn on me that I was buying an idea for a product, and not an actual product.

We solved the problem by buying a P3P. It works great. There are trade-offs between the two. Solo is better at some things, DJI at others. When the gimbal finally arrives, we'll decide whether to keep one, the other or both.
 
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This situation is the price of bleeding edge technology. I have lots of 3DR products and am very happy with them so they are worth supporting. I look forward to a Solo kit at some time in the future. Done DJI - lost the fly away Phantom so will hang on.
The strange thing seems to be the fact that they are only now developing the gimbal and surely they should have kept quiet until they had the the whole package ready to ship. The flying season will be gone when 3DR finally deliver so the launch should have been spring 2016.
 
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Yes actually stuff 100000 more complex than a quadcopter, yet we are on time for delivery of our product. Yes things happens we pay a price to keep on schedule, if we can make drill rig units that cost $670mm a piece I believe a quadcopter can stay on schedule.

Most companies just release a product to the store when they have the product as ready as it can be for mass consumption, kinda like apple does you know they show the new Iphone a week later you have the Iphone that is the proper way to do business.

I show a product say it would be on the shelves of stores at a certain date and deliver, not like 3DR soft launch of the Solo, the massive delay of the gimbal.

Maybe is just that I'm used and expect something done the proper way from the start.

I have developed products and systems my entire adult life. Worked with Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Boeing, Honeywell, etc. etc. etc... ALL of which have had delays at times (787 anyone?) for the same basic reason as 3DR has on this... They had two choices... ship it with deficiencies, or hold it back with the fix.

If you have actually "done stuff 100000 more complex than a quadcopter" then you KNOW in fact he is right.... I'm sorrry, but If you don't, then you simply haven't actually done it... Simple as that...
 
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There is LOT of difference between scheduling and completing a common project ( regardless of size ) and actually developing one in an arena that is evolving while you are working. A moving, ill ( or non ) defined target is the hardest of all, especially if you are plagued with pride of work and a caring about what you deliver. I applaud DJI for making the hard call so I won't have to later.

I would absolutely love to see a $760M project that was actually delivered on time ( the original schedule ), in it's final configuration.
I have been involved in a lot of larger projects ( including petroleum and military ) that are being delivered while I am reverse engineering components so they can be replaced, repaired or re-configured at time of, or after delivery. The deepwater horizon ( built by Hyundai ) was 18 months after delivery getting the control software tweaked the final time,, and it had been considered "finished" at the time of first set-up, Yet people still consider it finished on time. 95% is good enough in some industries.

I kept intending to buy a DJI P3 for the interim , but kept meeting more folks that had ongoing horror stories about plain rude and arrogant customer service.

I'll be buying a SOLO later this weekend along with a lot of accessories that will wait on delivery of the gimbal to call it complete, but there is a lot I can get done while waiting and I suspect the gimbal will probably have a tweak or two just as the aircraft will soon after purchase. Hell I am excited every time a vendor tells me they have just made another improvement to my product that I can download and enjoy.

We'll all get there sooner or later, just don't bust a vein waiting..

Tight lines all. Phill
 
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My opinion is very simple ... 3DR promised and did not deliver. Questions?

Solo is incomplete - it was released with known defects....


Solo is capable of flight - check
Solo is incomplete - check

All this chatter is smoke in mirrors and excuses for bad business irrespective of Solo's present day performance and capability. Solo works, but not as promised.

Solo and gimbal were marketed as a unit knowing the gimbal was not ready for production

3DR promised a spare battery for those who preordered and even the battery has not materialized.

I received an email from 3DR that sums up there sentiment - quoted from a 3DR email: "we are busy working on Solo's gobal launch ... Sorry ..."

3DR is "sorry" ... they are "busy"
 
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My opinion is very simple ... 3DR promised and did not deliver. Questions?

Solo is incomplete - it was released with known defects....


Solo is capable of flight - check
Solo is incomplete - check

All this chatter is smoke in mirrors and excuses for bad business irrespective of Solo's present day performance and capability. Solo works, but not as promised.

Solo and gimbal were marketed as a unit knowing the gimbal was not ready for production

3DR promised a spare battery for those who preordered and even the battery has not materialized.

I received an email from 3DR that sums up there sentiment - quoted from a 3DR email: "we are busy working on Solo's gobal launch ... Sorry ..."

3DR is "sorry" ... they are "busy"

You're beating a dead horse!
 
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Earl, actually the "early" purchasers were told it would ship end of May with Solo. Then at the last minute the Solo was going to ship first of June (pretty much on schedule) and the Gimbal would ship two weeks later.

In the end it has slipped at least three times. That said, by all means get it right. Since the final release required hardware "mass" adjustments which you cant handle with firmware :) .

Shipping a crappy gimbal would have been the death of the Solo. So two thumbs up from me for sticking to their quality standards.
Hello rrmccabe, remember about 6 weeks ago I told you I was cancelling my Solo pre order..well since then I have been flying a Q500 4k and haven't missed a day this summer of incredible gimble, video and aircraft stability...Solo one day..sure.. Viva Solo....but I haven't missed a day of flying since 1st of July thanks to Deemondseed and Peter at Aces Deals for introducing me to the Yuneec Q5004K
 
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If they delivered a gimble that was sub par, it most likely would have ruined, or at the least set the company back years. They are staying in business, a few added weeks is nothing compared to the big picture of survival in a ever growing, highly competitive field.
 
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You're beating a dead horse!
Perhaps, but for those future Solo shoppers, this will be another valuable bit of recon as they vet 3DR and Solo to help make an informed purchase decision. I guess the question becomes, when do you cease chalking things up to "complex technology", "new launch", "gremlins", and start seeing a systemic case of mis-management? I have had one RMA, and am looking at another - my good will is growing thin. And like others, I'm counting on the gimbal to knock it out of the park, but if it's anything less than a grans slam, I'll be obliged to let the community know what I think.
 
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Some perspective....

Lots of things were talked about before the release, but the Solo was launched at NAB with everyone knowing the gimbal wasn't shipping with it... You couldn't order it any other way. They promised you a free battery for your wait. They also publicly stated that you have 30 days after you get the gimbal to return the whole thing, no questions asked, regradless of when the gimbal actually ships.

The gimbal that was originally announced to ship the end of July has now been delayed two weeks from that announcment to the middle of August. 3DR released a lengthy explanation of why it was delayed, saying they weren't happy with the final performance, didnt want to put their name on it, and had made changes that greatly improved the product and needed time to change production.

Perspective is a good thing.
 
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I'm keeping the Solo. I enjoy flying it. I imagine its potential. I'm hoping the gimbal will redeem the feelings I have regarding 3DR right now.

But I ordered the Phantom 3 Pro yesterday.
 
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Solo Gimbal update...
http://3drobotics.com/solo-gimbal-update/

Basically a bunch of drivel with a guy posing in deep thought wishing he would have applied at a different company. Also wondering if his stock options are going to be only worth the toilet paper they are printed on... I read this twice thinking what a bunch of BS that only the serious cool aid drinkers would buy.

I thought I would give it a "truth in marketing" spin on it.

. Aug | by Roger | Life After Gravity, News | 0 comments:

For this post spin, we want to let you inside 3DR by providing a look into the overall lack of management process for a product like the gimbal. In the past we’ve focused mostly on technical matters failures, so we hope this is an interesting change of pace.:rolleyes:

To cut to the chase set up the stage for our reasons you will have to wait longer: we were not happy with the performance of our gimbal over the past month (neither are the paying customers waiting for it) while we’ve been tuning performance. (We crapped our pants on how bad this pile is). So we decided to make it better (than a Walkera G2D), which means starting production this week (first week of August), not in late July May as we last promised. This was a tough decision, to be sure (because the investors and customers we conned out of their money are PO'd)– this post explains our logic excuses.

So, first things first. The gimbal performance we were seeing wasn’t bad was crap. In fact, we were right in that gray area where we could have reasonably decided to ship it right now (unfinished and untested like the Solo but we were afraid of the return rate). Our user tests on “naive users” "idiots" – people that haven’t seen much aerial video (School for the Deaf and Blind) – were uniformly positive. But with a trained eye, (anyone with eyesight) you could see movement in yaw in windy any conditions.

So, we had a decision to make. Ship the gimbal as-is (like we did the Solo), or make it better bite the bullet and get yelled at. We Our investors decided we better make some changes to make our gimbal work great (or better than a hard mount), even if it meant taking a little longer pissing off our customers to do so.

Decisions Screw-ups like this are always challenging because they aren’t black and white. At 3DR, one of our guiding principles is to prioritize the user investor's experience (UX) over schedule over cost. We write it this way, as system of inequalities:
UX > schedule > cost (Basically we are going to baffle you with BS by coming up with this amazing formula)

If you ever come to 3DR (We will kindly escort you to the door and get a restraining order), you’re likely to see this little equation on whiteboards, in notebooks, in our internal docs and on the bathroom walls. (and a whole host of other stupid BS formulas as we wonder the halls)

We know perfection is impossible not going to happen with this brain trust. Nothing we will do is ever going to be perfect even sub par. It’s hard to even write that sentence ( keeping a straight face), because at 3DR , we strive for absolute perfection. Sounds pretty hokey, right?( UH YEAH! considering our track record) But that’s really the way we work.:rolleyes:

And while we know we may not achieve perfection a working gimbal , there is some difficult-to-define point where the team can say, “That looks good. I’d put my name on that. Let’s ship it.”( especially after the Solo, Nobody will ever make that mistake again.) (Beware marketing lingo ahead ->)[MARKETING BS] Not all companies have enough synchrony across engineering, design, ops, marketing and every other team such that the whole group hits that point at about the same time. At 3DR, we do have that synchrony. And we just weren’t feeling like the system was ready to go.[/MARKETING BS]

So specifically, what weren’t we happy with in the gimbal performance?
(short answer.. everything. Long answer ahead..)

Over the past month, we’ve been tuning prying, bending and welding the performance to get the gimbals to stabilize well not flop around like a can on a string across the unavoidable variance of the manufacturing process of a bad design. In so doing, we pushed our software control system really hard. (Basically we held the Software engineer's feet to the fire and told them to fix the inherent mechanical problems that were plaguing this POS)

At some point in that tuning process, we got were ordered to get together (sweating bullets and worried about our jobs) to try and understand how much more performancewe could cover our bad design we could get to fix it purely out of software like the Solo.

Taking a step back Realizing our failure: in any hardware/software product, whether it’s a thermostat, fitness tracker, paper bag or drone, BS Alert->there’s an interplay between hardware and software engineering. (I swear I heard this line in a Demi Moore movie) The hardware sets the bounds of what software can do. (and since we realized we screwed up when we designed this thing) Software can move fast to improve cover things but cannot operate outside the basic design of the hardware (Those Jackasses in the software dept can't patch up our screwup). Hardware is slower to develop (because we don't know what we are doing), but can open up new territory for software performance and features (Software guys are laughing at us now).

(Next part is where they actually admit they screwed up when they designed it)

In our case, the weight (or lack thereof) of the top part of the gimbal compared to the bottom part taxed our yaw motor’s ability to correct for disturbances in yaw. (We screwed up and didn't realize that when rotating around an axis, both sides should be equal weight) Basically, when the copter and gimbal get hit by wind or other disturbances (flatulence), your video might will look like it is vibrating or drifting from left to right. There’s a lot of technical detail here that I will omit( because I can't BS my way though this to make it sound believable), but our decision boiled down to: leave performance as-is (crappy for a $50 gimbal yet alone a $450 one), or find a way – a way that would add time to the schedule (back to the drawing board), no doubt – to address the yaw wandering failures to understand even the basics on how to build a gimbal.

We did find a way. Adding mass lead tire weight to the ends of the spider bracket – the piece that holds the dampers on the gimbal at the very top of the assembly – the thingy on top increases the overall mass of the top part of the gimbal. This allows the yaw motor to react to and correct disturbances hitting the bottom part of the gimbal where the camera lives is hanging by a thread, resulting in more stable video. (basically balance the axis of the gimbal so the motors don't have to overheat and squeal. )

This improvement is relatively straightforward (DUH) to implement in mass production (as much as anything is straightforward to implement in mass production), so we decided to go for it what the hell, unemployment pays up to 99 weeks (after, of course, designing and testing the improvement taking an ass chewing for screwing it up in the first place).

It wasn’t an easy call (literally I was called every name in the book and then some!). We know we could work on the gimbal forever (as proven) and it would get better each day (we told the top brass). We set strict requirements (it has to be better than the hard mount) and checklists (shirt, check... shoes, check.. service.. hmm maybe ) during our product development process guessing how to make these things and to make that process as efficient and objective as possible (cheap because with all of the returns we are running low on funds) . But at the end of the day, it boils down to a subjective, qualitative, ineffable judgment call keeping our jobs– “That looks good. I’d put my name on that. Let’s ship it.” (famously said by the last engineer when launching the Solo, who now lives down by the river in a van.)

We are very eager have to get this gimbal out to you! Solo’s not complete without it (DUH):rolleyes:. And we know not to let perfect not working be the enemy of the good. Actually, that’s not quite right – good isn’t good enough (because we haven't even achieved that yet). I’ll rephrase: we know not to let perfect be the enemy of the great. (yeah yeah that's the ticket. Kool aid drinkers will love it!)

So that’s where we stand(short). We made some changes did a major redesign and started (over with) production. We’ll (doubtfully) check our product thoroughly before we ship the units. Fixing yaw wandering is only part of the story (believe me! this thing was DOA!) – there is so much more work that has gone into the gimbal (and is going into the gimbal, and will continue (and continue.. and continue)to go into the gimbal via software updates) patches that I don’t have room to describe here (because I don't understand it and I'm not talking to the software guys anymore).

But the decision demand to improve the product and take the schedule hit ass chewing vs. shipping as-is (like we wanted to if the software guys would just go along) seems to me to be the most interesting scary thing to share with you all. We hope we’re painting a clear enough picture (we are incompetent) – perhaps with this (mis) information, you could even imagine yourself here (suffering) at 3DR, (NOT)doing this work, and making these (lack luster) decisions.

The plandemand is to ship gimbals mid-month (or next year.. whenever). We are doing more testing patching in the next week and will be able to officially speak to dates at the end of this week or beginning of the one following (or the following or the following).. Thanks for your support and patience.(not that you have any choice) We’re continuing to work hard on your behalf (to stop the returns).

Finally, most important, here is some video that does not include any of the recent tuning patching, but has a version of the latest hardware failure. This was shot by one of the 3DR team, Jon. (that has been let go) Link to youtube here.
 
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Solo Gimbal update...
http://3drobotics.com/solo-gimbal-update/

Basically a bunch of drivel with a guy posing in deep thought wishing he would have applied at a different company wondering. Also wondering if his stock options are going to be only worth the toilet paper they are printed on... I read this twice thinking what a bunch of BS that only the serious cool aid drinkers would buy.

I thought I would give it a "truth in marketing" spin on it.

. Aug | by Roger | Life After Gravity, News | 0 comments:

For this post spin, we want to let you inside 3DR by providing a look into the overall lack of management process for a product like the gimbal. In the past we’ve focused mostly on technical matters failures, so we hope this is an interesting change of pace.:rolleyes:

To cut to the chase set up the stage for our reasons you will have to wait longer: we were not happy with the performance of our gimbal over the past month (neither are the paying customers waiting for it) while we’ve been tuning performance. (We crapped our pants on bad this pile is). So we decided to make it better (than a Walkera G2D), which means starting production this week (first week of August), not in late July May as we last promised. This was a tough decision, to be sure (because the investors and customers we conned out of their money are PO'd)– this post explains our logic excuses.

So, first things first. The gimbal performance we were seeing wasn’t bad was crap. In fact, we were right in that gray area where we could have reasonably decided to ship it right now (unfinished and untested like the Solo but we were afraid of the return rate). Our user tests on “naive users” "idiots" – people that haven’t seen much aerial video (School for the Deaf and Blind) – were uniformly positive. But with a trained eye, (anyone with eyesight) you could see movement in yaw in windy any conditions.

So, we had a decision to make. Ship the gimbal as-is (like we did the Solo), or make it better bite the bullet and get yelled at. We Our investors decided we better make some changes to make our gimbal work great (or better than a hard mount), even if it meant taking a little longer pissing off our customers to do so.

Decisions Screw-ups like this are always challenging because they aren’t black and white. At 3DR, one of our guiding principles is to prioritize the user investor's experience (UX) over schedule over cost. We write it this way, as system of inequalities:
UX > schedule > cost (Basically we are going to baffle you with BS by coming up with this amazing formula)

If you ever come to 3DR (We will kindly escort you to the door and get a restraining order), you’re likely to see this little equation on whiteboards, in notebooks, in our internal docs and on the bathroom walls. (and a whole host of other stupid BS formulas as we wonder the halls)

We know perfection is impossible not going to happen with this brain trust. Nothing we will do is ever going to be perfect even sub par. It’s hard to even write that sentence ( keeping a straight face), because at 3DR , we strive for absolute perfection. Sounds pretty hokey, right?( UH YEAH! considering our track record) But that’s really the way we work.:rolleyes:

And while we know we may not achieve perfection a working gimbal , there is some difficult-to-define point where the team can say, “That looks good. I’d put my name on that. Let’s ship it.”( especially after the Solo, Nobody will ever make that mistake again.) (Beware marketing lingo ahead ->)[MARKETING BS] Not all companies have enough synchrony across engineering, design, ops, marketing and every other team such that the whole group hits that point at about the same time. At 3DR, we do have that synchrony. And we just weren’t feeling like the system was ready to go.[/MARKETING BS]

So specifically, what weren’t we happy with in the gimbal performance?
(short answer.. everything. Long answer ahead..)

Over the past month, we’ve been tuning prying, bending and welding the performance to get the gimbals to stabilize well not flop around like a can on a string across the unavoidable variance of the manufacturing process of a bad design. In so doing, we pushed our software control system really hard. (Basically we held the Software engineer's feet to the fire and told them to fix the inherent mechanical problems that were plaguing this POS)

At some point in that tuning process, we got were ordered to get together (sweating bullets and worried about our jobs) to try and understand how much more performancewe could cover our bad design we could get to fix it purely out of software.

Taking a step backRealizing our failure: in any hardware/software product, whether it’s a thermostat, fitness tracker, paper bag or drone, BS Alert->there’s an interplay between hardware and software engineering. (I swear I heard this line is a Demi Moore movie) The hardware sets the bounds of what software can do. (and since we realized we screwed up when we designed this thing) Software can move fast to improve cover things but cannot operate outside the basic design of the hardware (Those Jackasses in the software dept can't patch up our screwup). Hardware is slower to develop (because we don't know what we are doing), but can open up new territory for software performance and features (Software guys are laughing at us now).

(Next part is where they actually admit they screwed up when they designed it)

In our case, the weight (or lack thereof) of the top part of the gimbal compared to the bottom part taxed our yaw motor’s ability to correct for disturbances in yaw. (We screwed up and didn't realize that when rotating around an axis, both sides should be equal weight) Basically, when the copter and gimbal get hit by wind or other disturbances (flatulence), your video might will look like it is vibrating or drifting from left to right. There’s a lot of technical detail here that I will omit( because I can't BS my way though it to make it sound believable), but our decision boiled down to: leave performance as-is (crappy for a $50 gimbal yet alone a $450 one), or find a way – a way that would add time to the schedule (back to the drawing board), no doubt – to address the yaw wandering failure to understand even the basics on how to build a gimbal.

We did find a way. Adding mass lead tire weight to the ends of the spider bracket – the piece that holds the dampers on the gimbal at the very top of the assembly – the thingy on top increases the overall mass of the top part of the gimbal. This allows the yaw motor to react to and correct disturbances hitting the bottom part of the gimbal where the camera lives is hanging by a thread, resulting in more stable video. (basically balance the axis of the gimbal so the motors don't have to overhead and squeal. )

This improvement is relatively straightforward (DUH) to implement in mass production (as much as anything is straightforward to implement in mass production), so we decided to go for itwhat the hell, unemployment pays up to 99 weeks (after, of course, designing and testing the improvementtaking an ass chewing for screwing it up in the first place).

It wasn’t an easy call (literally I was called every name in the book and then some!). We know we could work on the gimbal forever (as proven) and it would get better each day (we told the top brass). We set strict requirements (it has to be better than the hard mount) and checklists (shirt, check... shoes, check.. service.. hmm maybe )during our product development process guessing how to make these things and to make that process as efficient and objective as possible (cheap because with all of the returns we are running low on funds) . But at the end of the day, it boils down to a subjective, qualitative, ineffable judgment call us keeping our jobs– “That looks good. I’d put my name on that. Let’s ship it.” (famously said that last engineer when launching the Solo, who now lives down by the river in a van.)

We are very eagerhave to get this gimbal out to you! Solo’s not complete without it (DUH):rolleyes:. And we know not to let perfectnot working be the enemy of the good. Actually, that’s not quite right – good isn’t good enough (because we haven't even achieved that yet). I’ll rephrase: we know not to let perfect be the enemy of the great. (yeah yeah that's the ticket)

So that’s where we stand(short). We made some changes did a major redesign and started (over with) production. We’ll (doubtfully) check our product thoroughly before we ship the units. Fixing yaw wandering is only part of the story (believe me! this thing was DOA!) – there is so much more work that has gone into the gimbal (and is going into the gimbal, and will continue (and continue.. and continue)to go into the gimbal via software updates) patches that I don’t have room to describe here (because I don't understand it).

But the decision demand to improve the product and take the schedule hitass chewing vs. shipping as-is (like we wanted to if the software guys would just go along) seems to me to be the most interesting scary thing to share with you all. We hope we’re painting a clear enough picture (we are incompetent) – perhaps with this (mis) information, you could even imagine yourself here (suffering) at 3DR, (NOT)doing this work, and making these (lack luster)decisions.

The plandemand is to ship gimbals mid-month (or next year.. whenever). We are doing more testing patching in the next week and will be able to officially speak to dates at the end of this week or beginning of the one following (or the following or the following).. Thanks for your support and patience.(not that you have any choice) We’re continuing to work hard on your behalf (to stop the returns).

Finally, most important, here is some video that does not include any of the recent tuning patching, but has a version of the latest hardware failure. This was shot by one of the 3DR team, Jon. (that has been let go) Link to youtube here.

Very entertaining. It looks like the worm is turning against 3DR - too bad. Great concept, crappy execution. The gimbal needs to be nothing short of the second coming or they're toast.
 
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I was really excited about the Solo and defended it against the on-slot of junk on RCgroups but now feel like a jackass for doing so. Can't believe they Bragged about a system and the Cable Cam and not even have the Gimbal in design when they designed the Quad. Then take people's money and keep pushing it back? Really dumb. Instead of reinventing the wheel at this point just grab up a bunch of Walkera G-3D gimbals, remove the craptastic control boards and replace them with either Storm 32s or Phobotic's centerpiece and call it a day. Walkera G-3d with a centerpiece will do better than anything these guys will come up with. Bet on it.
 

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