Microsoft Ships Robotics Studio CTP
At the RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition 2006 in Pittsburgh this week,
Microsoft announced it is shipping the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of
its Windows-based robotics development platform.
Dubbed Microsoft Robotics Studio, the package provides an "end-to-end
robotics development platform," the company said in a prepared statement.
The package features a set of tools for programming and debugging robot applications
scenarios, including a high-quality visual simulation environment that uses
physics supplied by the Ageia Technologies PhysX engine.
Robotics Studio also includes a scalable, extensible runtime architecture that
can support a wide variety of hardware and devices. The programming interface
can be used to address robots using 8-bit or 16-bit processors as well as 32-bit
systems with multi-core processors and devices from simple touch sensors to
laser distance-finding devices, according to Microsoft's statements.
It also comes with a lightweight services-oriented runtime. "Using a .NET-based
concurrency library, it makes asynchronous application development simple...[including]
accessing the state of a robot's sensors and actuators with a Web browser,"
the statements said.
Third parties can also extend the functionality of the platform by building
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
Visual Studio and Visual Studio Express languages. These include 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, the company said.
It also provides a set of technology libraries services samples to help developers
get started writing robot applications using Robotics Studio.
For more information on Robotics Studio, go here.
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.