Microsoft and DJI team up to bring smarter drones to the enterprise

At the Microsoft Build developer conference today, Microsoft and Chinese drone manufacturer DJI announced a new partnership that aims to bringing more of Microsoft’s machine learning smarts to commercial dronings. Given Microsoft’s current focus on bringing intelligence to the edge, this is almost a logical partnership, given that drones are essentially semi-autonomous edge computing devices.

DJI also today announced that Azure is now its preferred cloud computing partner and that it will use the platform to analyze video data, for example. The two companies also plan to offer new commercial droning answers use Azure IoT Edge and associated AI technologies for verticals like agriculture, building and public safety. Indeed, the companies are already working together on Microsoft’s FarmBeats answer, an AI and IoT platform for farmers.

As part of this partnership, DJI is launching a software development kit( SDK) for Windows that will allow Windows developers to construct native apps to control DJI drones. Use the SDK, developers can also integrate third-party tools for managing warheads or accessing sensors and robotics components on their dronings. DJI already offers a Windows-based ground station.

” DJI is excited to form this unique partnership with Microsoft to bring the power of DJI aerial platforms to the Microsoft developer ecosystem ,” told Roger Luo, DJI president, in today’s announcement.” Utilizing our new SDK, Windows developers will soon be able to employ dronings, AI and machine learning technologies to create intelligent flying robots that will save business hour and money and help make drone technology a mainstay in the workplace .”

Interestingly, Microsoft also stresses that this partnership dedicates DJI access to its Azure IP Advantage program.” For Microsoft, existing cooperation is a fine 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 autoes and personal wearables ,” the company notes in today’s announcement.

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