I bought the E100 Mini Drone, similar to this - and it seems the obstacle avoidance function doesn't work. I can still return it, or keep it for a refund of roughly half the price. I'd keep it, if it was possible to make the avoidance function work.

According to the manual, and to a sticker on the controller, the obstacle avoidance function should be activated by the left-most bumper button on the controller. That button has "1/2/3" printed on it - the typical "30%, 60%, 100% speed" function common in chinese drones, changing the flight speed of the drone - and in my tests, that's exactly what it does, changing the speed, instead of activating the obstacle avoidance LEDs - I tried observing them through a phone camera, the old method of checking if IR led lights up - and they remain dark. The app for the phone ("WIFI CAMERA") linked from the manual doesn't have anything about obstacle avoidance.

I suspect wrong firmware in the controller - maybe also in the drone. I opened it up and the electronics is in the "detector tower" look to be in order and connected to the main board. There's also a second bottom-facing camera which I managed to activate through the app, but no "optical flow" stabilization.

Is there anything better I can do with it than demand a full refund, or get the half refund and resell it as a "dumb" drone with a silly non-functional mushroom on top? Maybe there's an alternative app, or a method of flashing a better firmware? Or some common electronic fault I can easily fix?



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