Microsoft is partnering with DJI to build a new drone SDK Windows to 10 which will bring Azure IoT Edge to the Chinese companies drones.
The announcement was made at Microsoft Build 2018 conference in Seattle and means any Azure developer using Azure machine learning can develop Ai models and deploy them to their drones. The new drone SDK will allow for full flight control and data transfer to Windows 10 PCs.
The two companies showed what this partnership could bring in the future by having a DJI Mavic drone using the new SDK and Azure backend with intelligent edge capabilities to scan and identify a damaged pipe from the drone footage while also displaying it in real time on a Windows 10 app.
Microsoft introduced Azure IoT edge last year at Build 2017 which allowed edge devices to run AI, Azure services and custom logic to not just generate the insights but to act on them as well.
Microsoft has since expanded the number of Azure services to the edge and is now ready to push even more. These include services such as Azure Cognitive Services with the first of these being Custom Vision which allows developers to train their own AI models.
The change means that Custom Vision can now work more effectively on devices such as drones and industrial equipment without requiring cloud or network activity.
Microsoft and DJI are hoping that this new partnership could enable drones to be more helpful across sectors such as agriculture, construction, and public safety.