Microsoft's AirSim Project is taking off and becoming a truly useful platform across industries, according to a new Microsoft Research post. AirSim has been around for some time in concept, but Microsoft this week announced Project AirSm at the Farnborough International Airshow.
AirSim is a Microsoft Research project that allows drone manufacturers and software developers to create robotic autonomous systems. As the name suggests, the platform provides a realistic simulation environment. Designers can use the sim to train their machine learning technology and generate data for analysis.
Project AirSim runs on Microsoft Azure, allowing organizations to build and train AI aircraft in a high-fiedlity simulation. In a blog post to accompany the announcement, Microsoft explains how AirSim can help train Autonomous vehicles quickly:
“In these realistic environments, AI models can run through millions of flights in seconds, learning how to react to countless variables much like they would in the physical world: How would the vehicle fly in rain, sleet or snow? How would strong winds or high temperatures affect battery life? Can the drone's camera see a turbine's arms on an overcast day just as well as a clear one?”
By tapping into Microsoft Azure resources, AirSim is capable of generating huge amounts of data to train AI models. For example, it can instruct on what the AI can do in each stage of a flight. For example, teaching the aircraft how to properly land and takeoff.
Furthermore, AirSim provides detailed simulations of 3D environments covering both rural and ubran settings.
“Autonomous systems will transform many industries and enable many aerial scenarios, from the last-mile delivery of goods in congested cities to the inspection of downed power lines from 1,000 miles away,” says Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft corporate vice president for Business Incubations in Technology & Research.
“But first we must safely train these systems in a realistic, virtualized world. Project AirSim is a critical tool that lets us bridge the world of bits and the world of atoms, and it shows the power of the industrial metaverse – the virtual worlds where businesses will build, test and hone solutions and then bring them into the real world.”
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