Microsoft has introduced an open source virtual reality toolkit for the training of autonomous drones.
Part of Microsoft’s Aerial Informatics and Robotics Platform, the beta software became available on GitHub last week.
The toolkit is designed to allow developers to “teach” drones how to navigate the real world by recreating conditions such as shadows, reflections and even objects that might confuse a device’s on-board sensors.
The software allows researchers to write code for aerial robots such as drones, as well as other gadgets, and to test the devices in a highly realistic simulator. Users can collect data while testing devices before deploying them in real world scenarios or situations.
“The aspirational goal is really to build systems that can operate in the real world,” said Ashish Kapoor, the Microsoft researcher who is leading the project”.
The hope is that these training tools could spur development of artificial intelligence-based gadgets that eventually could be trusted to drive cars, deliver packages, and even handle rudimentary chores in the home, added Kapoor.
Author: By Peter Suciu