Here’s some not-so-good news if you own a GoPro Karma. Reports indicate that the drone has been unable to fly since the start of 2020. Many users have reported in the GoPro forums that their drones are not picking up GPS signals to calibrate its compass.
A number of the drone’s controllers, though, seem to be unaffected, as they are still able to pick up GPS signals. Some users have also managed to get their GoPro Karma drones airborne by flying in expert mode.
This may have something to do with a GPS rollover flaw. The system counts weeks using a 10-bit system, up to 1024 weeks. Whenever it gets to the end, it starts again from the beginning. This flaw is caused by software that’s not coded to anticipate this rollover. The Russian equivalent, GLONASS, operates in the same way. It just so happens that the rollover of that particular system is between 31 December 2019 and 1 January 2020, depending on where you are.
Apple addressed a similar issue issue with its older iPhone and iPad models last year. This was done via an update that the company urged users to install. GoPro likely hasn’t done the same, since it left the drone business about two years ago. Incidentally, the GoPro Karma also happened to be the brand’s last drone.