The popularity of the drone has grown immensely over the past few years. While these devices are undeniably versatile and very beneficial for numerous purposes, it takes a skilled pilot to utilize them fluidly. Getting air time with a drone can be tricky, until now. Microsoft has made their AirSim flight simulator open source and available to all. The AirSim simulator for drones has been built on the Unreal Engine. The cross platform software is compatible with many popular flight controllers, including the Pixhawk.
In the future, the software will be compatible with other vehicles, including robots. Microsoft released the software with the intention of supporting deep learning and computer vision. The company also hopes the software will aid the development of effective algorithms for autonomous vehicles. The AirSim software exposes API so data can be retrieved and vehicles can be controlled independently of the platform.
For drone enthusiasts, the drone simulator will prove to be a great learning platform. Learning on the job can be dangerous and incredibly costly. Crashing a drone against a tree during your first training flight would be heartbreaking. With AirSim, the crash might be annoying, but it will not empty the consumer’s wallet. The software will give the user the ability to fly their drone in a completely simulated world. Therefore, no equipment and no humans will be put at risk.
Those interested in learning more about or downloading AirSim should head over to GitHub.