The New Real World Simulator From Microsoft Lets You Crash Drones And Robots
Microsoft is sharing some interesting tools with the open source community today. Developers and researchers will be able to take advantage of a new simulator that will let people test and train robots and drones in a virtual environment to prepare them for moving around the real world. A beta version of Microsoft’s research tool is being made available free of charge on GitHub today through an open source license. It’s just the latest in a line of tools and software that Microsoft has made available to the open source community in recent years.
While some simulators have existed to help test drone paths and prepare devices for autonomous operations, Microsoft claims its latest tool is far more advanced, and more accurately reflects the navigation challenges of the real world. Engineers are already exploring the possibility of training real-life action in virtual worlds, retrofitting games like GTA for this task. You can even test AI creations in Minecraft. Microsoft is using the latest photorealistic technologies, so its simulator will let you guide a drone over a realistic setting with shadows and reflections.
“You can do a lot of experiments, and even if those experiments fail they have very little cost in real life,” explains Ashish Kapoor, the Microsoft researcher in charge of the project, in an interview with The Verge. “In the real world it’s extremely hard to explore all possible things, however in simulation we have the luxury of trying out many different things.” Continue reading about Microsoft’s new simulator.