Microsoft entering the robotics market with software tools

Microsoft entering the emerging robotics sector robotics studio

Microsoft the software giant is going to enter the robotics market with some new software’s to make programming robots easier for amateurs and professionals alike. Microsoft aims to bring robotics technology to the masses with programming software to ease the development of new applications, replicating an approach it adopted in the early days of the personal computer industry. Microsoft is hoping to enter the software market as it had done in the past, while in the 1970s and 1980s computers were not even near the reach of common man, Microsoft played an integral role in bringing computer access to the masses, it is hoping to do it in the robotics industry too.

There was a foray in the robotics industry hearing of the news of Microsoft entering the software robotics market.

Even though Microsoft is a newcomer to the robotics industry the companies massive funding for upcoming projects and its history of destroying its rivals with cutting edge business and marketing strategies are causing a small fear among current players.

 

Microsoft Robotic studio allows developers to program most basic robots like the starter kits offered by Danish toymaker Lego
Microsoft sees the industry as nascent and Trower agrees with market estimates that it will take up to a decade before consumer robots become a multibillion dollar business.

As a result, Microsoft’s robot group doesn’t operate like one of the company’s business units. Its offices are located inside Microsoft’s research building and the group reports to Craig Mundie, the company’s research and strategy officer, instead of a business head.

Microsoft is joining with upcoming LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT,and they hope it will boost the impact of robotics(Microsofts presence in the marke ?)Mindstorms tools of robotics has been enjoying a strong community of users since 1998,in the next vesions platform includes many built-in features that further the community’s ability to take MINDSTORMS programming out of the box. In combination with Microsoft Robotics Studio, PC users will have a sophisticated tool that will further extend the powerful NXT hardware and software to an even wider range of developers who wish to create advanced applications for their LEGO robots.
Details of Robotics Studio

Key features and benefits of the Microsoft Robotics Studio environment include these:

End-to-end robotics development platform. Microsoft Robotics Studio includes a visual programming tool, making it easy to create and debug robot applications. Robotics Studio enables developers to generate modular services for hardware and software, allowing users to interact with robots through Web-based or Windows-based interfaces. Developers can also simulate robotic applications using realistic 3-D models; Microsoft has licensed the PhysX™ engine from AGEIA™, a pioneer in hardware-accelerated physics, enabling real-world physics simulations with robot models. The PhysX simulations can also be accelerated using AGEIA hardware.

Lightweight services-oriented runtime. Microsoft Robotics Studio provides a lightweight services-oriented runtime. Using a .NET-based concurrency library, it makes asynchronous application development simple. The services-oriented, message-based architecture makes it simple to access the state of a robot’s sensors and actuators with a Web browser, and its composable model enables the building of high-level functions using simple components and providing for reusability of code modules as well as better reliability and replaceability.

Scalable, extensible platform. The Microsoft Robotics Studio programming model can be applied for a variety of robot hardware platforms, enabling users to transfer their learning skills across platforms. Third parties can also extend the functionality of the platform by providing additional libraries and services. Both remote (PC-based) and autonomous (robot-based) execution scenarios can be developed using a selection of programming languages, including those in Microsoft Visual Studio® and Microsoft Visual Studio Express languages (Visual C#® and Visual Basic® .NET), JScript® and Microsoft IronPython 1.0 Beta 1, and third-party languages that conform to its services-based architecture.

Broad Industry Support Shown for Early Technical Preview

At RoboBusiness, Microsoft and several industry partners offered working models and demonstrations of Robotics Studio technology in action:

CoroWare Inc., an Innova Holdings company, showed its Surveyor 3000, a mobile service robot that can be remotely operated or programmed to run semiautonomously.
KUKA Robot Group showed a lightweight robot prototype controlled via a remote joystick service, using Microsoft Robotics Studio-based services.
Robosoft showed its six-wheeled robuROC6 robot, capable of autonomous navigation across difficult terrain, which highlighted how a distributed architecture, built from its robuBOX™ robotics core, could be easily controlled via the Microsoft Robotics Studio runtime.
RoboticsConnection featured a tracked Windows XP-based robot utilizing one of its Serializer™ .NET Robot Controller boards, via Microsoft Robotics Studio and Serializer services.
White Box Robotics Inc. showed a telepresence scenario featuring its 914 PC-BOT. The 914 was controlled via a Robotics Studio-driven Web-based interface, accessible remotely over a network.

Links of interest

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/jun06/06-20MSRoboticsStudioPR.mspx

http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics

 

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