The age of the drone developer is upon us. The shift is brewing in the world of cloud computing, with drones and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) being used for some amazing applications.
From agriculture to security, delivery to photography, sky is the limit.
Literally and figuratively.
Central to this is the rise of the intelligence edge.
And as noted, drone developers are building drone applications that sit on the devices themselves to analyze the worlds they fly into. Most of it is software that communicates with the cloud datacenters, but there are also programs that are capable enough of making decisions on their own
Without an active connection to the cloud.
Sam George, director, Azure Internet of Things at Microsoft explains:
“Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can make real-time context-aware decisions represent what we call the intelligent edge — and this will define the next wave of innovation, not just for business, but also how we address some of the world’s most pressing issues.”
To facilitate this convergence of cloud, IoT and AI, Microsoft is making a responsibility play.
As is evident in the fact that the Redmond based company announced that AirMap had selected the Azure cloud as its exclusive cloud computing platform for its drone traffic management platform and developer ecosystem.
This connection between the two platforms is hoped to allow state and local authorities to authorize drone flights and enforce rules and restrictions on how and when they can be operated.
In addition, Microsoft has also expanded its partnership with DJI, a specialist in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology. It is now possible to write applications for Windows 10 PCs that control DJI drones, and integrate and control third-party payloads to enhance the ways drones can be used in enterprise.
Drone images can be sent back to a datacenter running Microsoft Azure AI services to help make decisions — on the intelligent edge, again.
Drone imagery can also be processed on Windows running Azure IoT Edge with an AI workload, or processed directly onboard drones running Azure IoT Edge with an AI workload.
There still is no formalized global air traffic control system for drones.
But Microsoft is doing all it can to control development and lead the way to better management.