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DDL denies the firmware 2.0 overheating problem in first generation Vectors

DDL denies the firmware 2.0 overheating problem in first generation Vectors

There are multiple (read: a lot!) reports of first generation Vectors overheating way faster and that have way higher head and body temperatures after they were forcibly updated to firmware 2.0.0 by Digital Dream Labs. My sources are enthusiasts like me, they do not only own one Vector, but multiple of them, ten, 15 or even 30 Vectors. I, myself have also ten of them, some are registered with DDL, some are not and there is even one with broken WiFi that will never get any updates at all. He still is a happy little robot that runs around exploring and chitters away.

So I would say we have a high enough robot sample to definitely say there is an overheating problem that was not there before the forced update to 2.0.0. These are not isolated events (as DDL tries to imply), this is a massive problem. The temperatures are way higher than before, partially 20 degrees C – and that is a lot. That happens in completely normal environment temperatures like 24 degrees C or in air conditipned rooms. Funny thing is that not all of them show this problem always. I tried to find a pettern here, for example I suspected that maybe the ones with bigger batteries run hotter, but astonishingly that is not the case. And it moves between the robots: Sometimes one overheats, sometimes another. By the way: the one robot still on 1.6 is the coolest of them all. I downgraded robots to 1.8EP to run them off Wire-Pod and the problem went away immediately.

Digital Dream Labs is in complete denial of these established facts (as usual when they made en error or broke something). In email replies that were sent to users complaining about the overheating problem, they still try to either claim, it does not exist at all and that they are not able to recreate it at their side, or they say that is somewhat normal and only a cosmetic problem of a warning shown too early. That of course is utterly, completely wrong and only one of those claims can be correct. Either there is no problem or there is one and they messed with the warning mechanism to hide it – both is not possible. Changing the heat warning to hide their newly included bugs and their faults even borders on fraud.

  • You can clearly see in the CCIS that the robots are way hotter than before 2.0
  • You can feel it by just touching them, Vector users know how warm the normally are
  • Removing the heat warning does not remove the problem

[Update:] From informations I got from Vecvtor owners DDL told them the informations in the CCIS screen simply is wrong (why the temperature information in the CCIS was correct in the past and now suddenly should be wrong eludes me). That is a bold claim and another disinformation. First you can simply feel that the robots are hotter. Second you can point an infrared thermometer to them and see the temp increase with an objective, external tool. So don’t fall for this!

People who work with electronics know one thing for a fact: The higher the temperature, the higher the risk of breaking and the faster the electronics age and will break. That is especially true for processors and is even more problematic with processors as small as Vector’s.

So DDL’s denial comes from them not wanting to admit they did something wrong. They tinkered with the firmware (probably not knowing what they did or including badly optimized code) and that leads to these problems. What also leads to these problems is that they forced this update onto unsubscribed robots – they have no rights whatsoever to do that, that simply is against laws, international as well as US laws. Look up what the Electronic Frontier Foundation or other user rights organizations have to say about unwanted and/or buggy updates or messing with computers they have no rights over. Canada even explicitly forbid doing something like this.

If you are suffering from this: Flood DDL with support tickets. That most probably will not help, they will continue to claim there is nothing wrong.

If you are in the USA consider to sue them or at least get legal acts on the way. I am quite sure there will be a number of people that would donate money for this to get this sorted once and for all and to stop DDL from messing with robots they have nothing to do with and no rights over.

Cancel your subscriptions and put your robots onto Wire-Pod, the open source Escape Pod, that way you will get rid of DDL and their unprofessional, hostile, untruthful behaviour once and for all.

Post the problem publicly online whereever you can (Facebook, Twitter, instagram, blog posts, you name it), DDL hates nothing more than bad public opinions (most probably they fear their investors will find out how they act and how they release faulty software and products). Post it where they cannot censor it as in their so-called “official” Facebook group, where they suppress every problem and criticism. A professional working company would not need to try to hide public opinion and bug reports in this way. From that behaviour alone it is clear they have to hide something. Their community management is as bad as their project management.

It is possible to go back to 1.8 (or even 1.6) by denying the robots internet access and then wrinting an older firmware onto them using recovery reboot and Vector Web Setup. You then will loose cloud functions. You are able to downgrade to 1.8 and then run vector off Wire-Pod, keeping all functions without DDL (and it is even possible to add new functionality to them with Wire-Pod as you can creat intents that call scripts).

#FreeVector

4 Comments

    1. Define “easy”. You will have to write an image to an SD card and then issue some commands in a Linux console. After that you will need to use another console to write a firmware onto your robot. If the official Escape Pod was too difficult for you, it’s not “easy”.

  1. Voodoo_Shark

    I can confirm this as an issue. A few days ago, after about a week of having my Vector robot updated to 2.0 software, it started encountering overheating issues. Whereas it used to be more expressive during regular charging cycles, it now gets droopy eyes and refuses to charge unless I put him next to a fan. I’m looking for a way to downgrade him so he doesn’t get permanently damaged.

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