GoPro Quits Drone Business

Robotics Business Review

GoPro has announced the end of their drone program, only two years after they released their first drone to the public. The GoPro Karma drone, which generated mixed reviews and even suffered a complete recall, will be the last model drone produced by the company.

GoPro stated in its quarterly earnings report that it will officially exit the drone market “after selling its remaining Karma inventory.” As a result of this move, the company will be laying off over 200 employees as it looks to scale back its product offerings to its core items.

GoPro Karma DroneGoPro’s aerial struggle

The Karma drone launched back in 2015, a time when most consumer drones including were designed to work with a GoPro camera. Since then, however, drones are increasingly housing their own cameras, with popular models from DJI even boasting 4K resolution on their native cameras.

Is this shift in cameras to blame for the end of GoPro’s drone program? It’s possible, although the consumer drone market is heavily saturated with other offerings, and GoPro may simply have entered the game too late, without a strong enough offering to make a real splash in the market.

The company also blamed tightening regulations in both Europe and the United States as factors in the Karma drone not finding commercial success. Governments are still struggling over how to regulate both consumer and commercial drones, with the UN going so far to even propose a global drone registry last year.

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