DJI and Microsoft Partner To Take AI To The Sky

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Microsoft and DJI are teaming up to combine the former’s AI and machine learning technology with the latter’s industry-leading hardware. The partnership will see DJI launch a new software development kit for Windows and select Microsoft Azure as its cloud computing partner.

With that in place, DJI drones could soon be used by commercial pilots in a range of industries alongside Azure’s AI and machine learning capabilities, churning aerial imagery and video data into actionable insights.

The deal is the latest in Microsoft’s push towards edge computing with the adoption of Internet of Things technologies, which stand to minimize the latency problem of sending huge data workloads to the cloud and bring customers closer to actual real-time results.

DJI’s new SDK

DJI’s new software development kit (SDK) for Windows will extend the power of commercial drone technology to the largest enterprise developer community in the world. Using applications written for Windows 10 PCs, DJI drones will soon be able to be customized and controlled for a wide variety of industrial uses, with full flight control and real-time data transfer capabilities.

DJI’s new SDK for opens the door for Windows developers to build applications that can remotely control DJI drones, and allow the Windows developer community to integrate and control third-party payloads like multispectral sensors, robotic components like custom actuators. The result, says DJI, will see the SDK “exponentially increasing the ways drones can be used in the enterprise.”

“As computing becomes ubiquitous, the intelligent edge is emerging as the next technology frontier,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft. “DJI is the leader in commercial drone technology, and Microsoft Azure is the preferred cloud for commercial businesses. Together, we are bringing unparalleled intelligent cloud and Azure IoT capabilities to devices on the edge, creating the potential to change the game for multiple industries spanning agriculture, public safety, construction and more.”

“DJI is excited to form this unique partnership with Microsoft to bring the power of DJI aerial platforms to the Microsoft developer ecosystem,” said Roger Luo, president at DJI. “Using our new SDK, Windows developers will soon be able to employ drones, AI and machine learning technologies to create intelligent flying robots that will save businesses time and money, and help make drone technology a mainstay in the workplace.”

In addition to the SDK for Windows, Microsoft and DJI are collaborating to develop commercial drone solutions using Azure IoT Edge and AI technologies for customers in key vertical segments such as agriculture, construction and public safety.

Windows developers will be able to use DJI drones alongside Azure’s extensive cloud and IoT toolset to build AI solutions that are trained in the cloud and deployed down to drones in the field in real time, allowing businesses to quickly take advantage of learnings at one individual site and rapidly apply them across the organization.


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