Microsoft has introduced an open source virtual reality toolkit for the training of autonomous drones. Part of Microsoft’s Aerial Informatics and Robotics Platform, the beta software became available last week. It is designed to allow developers to “teach” drones how to navigate the real world by recreating conditions such as shadows, reflections and even objects that might confuse a device’s on-board sensors. The software allows researchers to write code for aerial robots such as drones, and to test the devices in a highly realistic simulator.