Microsoft the tech giant this time kept his foot on a niche which I think is going to rule the world in the coming years. A few moments ago Microsoft released a new open-source simulator software named Microsoft AirSim in the GitHub Repository.
Microsoft calls AirSim as Aerial Informatics and Robotics Platform Simulator which till date is a simulator that is dedicated to drones. But as per the news from Microsoft, the AirSim is going to be extended to other segments like the robots and vehicles too.
The Aim of AirSim:
The tech giant has a very big aim and goal with the latest platform the AirSim. The company aims to build AirSim as a platform that will in future give a boost to Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the cross platform, it will become easy and convenient to reinforce various typical learning algorithms in the sector of autonomous vehicles which in the long run will define the movements of such vehicles in the real world.
The AirSim also pressurizes the advance concept of deep learning and computer vision which will help in building an understanding of various situations and circumstances to control the autonomous vehicles.
The Microsoft AirSim also aims to enable simulation to real-world transfer via rich physics- based models that are very much useful for creating realistic dynamic models as well as rendering the scene.
The people working behind the AirSim are Shital Shah, Debadeepta Dey, Chris Lovett and Ashish Kapoor. And according to Shital Shah, a Microsoft researcher the major plan behind the project is to explore the world of drones a bit more deeply and apply all the possible solutions to retrieve data from various drones and other types of vehicles.
Digging AirSim a bit more…
How to get started with Microsoft AirSim?
The very first step to kick-off with Microsoft AirSim is that you will need to get ‘Pixhawk‘ or any related compatible device.
Pixhawk is an independent, open-hardware project and is also an autopilot-on-module that aims to provide high-end autopilot hardware to the industrial sectors at a cost that is very much affordable.
‘Pixhawk’ is very much suitable for fixed wing, multi rotors, helicopters, cars, boats, robotic platform etc. items that can make a move from one place to another.
The second thing you’ll need is the RC Controller. Both these objects will enable ‘hardware-in-loop simulation’ for more realistic experience.
For the Linux users, you must have to wait for a couple of weeks or more to get started on your Linux machine.
How to Use Microsoft AirSim:
Using Microsoft AirSim is very easy if you have all the compatible devices with you.
Step 1: Plugin your Pixhawk or any similar device in your USB port.
Step 2: Turn on the RC Controller and then press the Play button
Note: Press F1 key to view several available keyboard shortcuts.
Developers can also use the AirSim API for easy retrieval of data and for efficient control of, drones and autonomous vehicles. The API of AirSim can be used with drones to gather graphic images, videos of the various native environment.
With the AirSim API, you can apply your own custom code to control different drones platforms and build all the way different drones all just with your ideas and brainstorming.
Not only this the AirSim API is also available as a separate independent cross-platform library which you can deploy on any of your offboard computer and later on test your custom made a code in a simulator and then execute it on your drones. This way the AirSim API can be extended to a much bigger area.
To know more about AirSim you can learn it at the GitHub Repository.
Also, you can refer this guide for more information on Aerial Informatics and Robotics Platform