Microsoft’s research efforts in robotics and autonomous systems

Microsoft is working on a new autonomous systems tool that will have a great impact on the industrial industry.

“Autonomous” is the word often used when referring to self-driving vehicles. However, it can also be used to describe machinery that doesn’t need human interference to operate. Think equipment inspection, robotic calibration, and so forth. Now throw some AI into the mix, and these technologies can become much more than just tools for carrying out repetitive tasks.

Microsoft has been researching this area since 2008. In the last couple of years, they have been trying to come up with ways to introduce this technology to industrial processes.

At this year’s Build conference, the company showcased its autonomous systems tool chain. Machine teaching is a term that goes with it, although Microsoft aren’t the only ones to use it. The main idea is to teach the AI systems what to focus on and what’s important.

Microsoft has already established partnerships with Schneider Electric, Toyota and SarcosRobotics. According to their officials, quite a number of these kinds of solutions are available already.

For example, AirSim is an open source simulation tool. In 2018, Microsoft made an announcement about bringing the Robot Operating System to Windows 10. At Build 2019, another relevant announcement was made: ROS will become available for Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise.

Microsoft’s Mark Hammond believes that an increasing number of IoT systems will become autonomous as time goes on.