AI Will Help Make Drones More Useful Commercially

Drones have been on the focus for some time now and they’ve even seen come use in business. The basic facts are simply that they present an unexploited dimension in so many ways that we’re still getting creative with they ways they are used.

From Michael Jordan using them to shoot aerial footage for an advertisement to companies employing them in sweeping reconnaissance missions – it simply isn’t stopping there. In fact, thanks to increasing video resolutions and other enhanced features, we’re still discovering new uses for them.

Now, DJI, one of the largest names in drone technology and Microsoft have teamed up to bring advanced AI and machine learning capabilities to DJI drones. The objective; to make smarter drones for commercial use that can leverage on cloud computing.

DJI will be releasing a software development kit (SDK) for Windows that extends the power of commercial drone technology to the largest enterprise developer community in the world. Through Windows application software, DJI drones can be customized for a wide variety of industrial uses. Companies will be able to benefit from full flight control and real-time data transfer capabilities.

The company also chose Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud computing partner, taking advantage of Azure’s industry-leading AI and machine learning capabilities to help turn vast quantities of aerial imagery and video data into actionable insights for thousands of businesses across the globe.

“As computing becomes ubiquitous, the intelligent edge is emerging as the next technology frontier,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft. “DJI is the leader in commercial drone technology, and Microsoft Azure is the preferred cloud for commercial businesses. Together, we are bringing unparalleled intelligent cloud and Azure IoT capabilities to devices on the edge, creating the potential to change the game for multiple industries spanning agriculture, public safety, construction and more.”

DJI’s new SDK for Windows empowers developers to build native Windows applications that can remotely control DJI drones including autonomous flight and real-time data streaming. The SDK will also allow the Windows developer community to integrate and control third-party payloads like multispectral sensors, robotic components like custom actuators, and more, exponentially increasing the ways drones can be used in the enterprise.

“DJI is excited to form this unique partnership with Microsoft to bring the power of DJI aerial platforms to the Microsoft developer ecosystem,” said Roger Luo, president at DJI. “Using our new SDK, Windows developers will soon be able to employ drones, AI and machine learning technologies to create intelligent flying robots that will save businesses time and money, and help make drone technology a mainstay in the workplace.”

In addition to the SDK for Windows, Microsoft and DJI are collaborating to develop commercial drone solutions using Azure IoT Edge and AI technologies for customers in key vertical segments such as agriculture, construction and public safety.

Windows developers will be able to use DJI drones alongside Azure’s extensive cloud and IoT toolset to build AI solutions that are trained in the cloud and deployed down to drones in the field in real time, allowing businesses to quickly take advantage of learnings at one individual site and rapidly apply them across the organization.

With this partnership, DJI will have access to the Azure IP Advantage program, which provides industry protection for intellectual property risks in the cloud. For Microsoft, the partnership is an example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem and builds upon existing partnerships in emerging sectors such as connected cars and personal wearables.

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