Microsoft pushes autonomous drones to new heights

How do you teach an autonomous drone to fly itself? Practice, practice, practice.

Now Microsoft is offering a way to put a drone’s control software through its paces millions of times before the first takeoff.

The cloud-based simulation platform, Project AirSim, is being made available in limited preview starting today, in conjunction with this week’s Farnborough International Airshow in Britain.

“Project AirSim is a critical tool that lets us bridge the world of bits and the world of atoms, and it shows the power of the industrial metaverse — the virtual worlds where businesses will build, test and hone solutions, and then bring them into the real world,” Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft corporate vice president for business incubations in technology and research, said today in a blog posting.


Bell shows off its autonomous delivery drone

Bell drone
Bell’s flight team checks out the APT 70 aircraft after an autonomous test flight. (Bell via YouTube)

When it comes to self-flying drones capable of delivering packages, Amazon isn’t the only game in town.

Today Bell reported that it’s begun putting its Autonomous Pod Transport 70, or APT 70, through test flights at a facility near its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. The tests are being conducted under an experimental type certificate through the remainder of the year, Bell said in a news release.

Get the full story on GeekWire.