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Microsoft releases Robotics Developer Studio 4

Posted: 12 Mar 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Kinect motion sensor  robotics  hardware reference platform  DIY 

For all those interested to add 3D motion sensing to their robots, Microsoft has released its Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS). The free downloadable framework will help developers in robot programming and management.

"RDS 4, with support from the Kinect sensor, aims to make it easier for developers to build applications, including those directed at personal robotics and consumer scenarios, both in hardware and in simulation."

"Since the Beta, our number one focus has been on improving the overall quality and stability of RDS 4. With your feedback, we've fixed a number of important issues in the product as well as made improvements to existing samples. Additionally, we updated RDS 4 to work with the release version of the Kinect for Windows SDK," said Habib Heydarian from Microsoft Robotics.

The new software adds support for Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, XNA 4.0, and Silverlight 4.0. The additional feature in RDS 4 is the availability of Kinect services that support the Kinect for Windows SDK capabilities shipped by Microsoft earlier this summer. Developers will be able to use the CCR/DSS programming model to access all of the Kinect for Windows SDK functionality.

"This unlocks a whole new world around Human Robot Interaction (HRI) with the use of skeleton tracking and speech. But we are also making available the raw sensor stream for your use in building additional capabilities such as navigation algorithms. As a matter of fact, we are shipping an obstacle avoidance service that fuses the Kinect input with the other proximity sensors to demonstrate how the sensor array can be used to intelligently perform directional based navigation," Stathis Papaefstathiou, general manager, Microsoft Robotics explained in a blog post.

Microsoft has released a Kinect-based hardware reference platform design specification for third-party robotic hardware vendors. Parallax, Inc has already manufactured a hardware kit based on the hardware kit for a robot named 'Eddie', which is available for preorder.

In addition, the software also comes with a simulation to allow users to develop applications in the simulator before running them on a physical robot. "With RDS 4 simulation tools, you don't need physical hardware to develop a Kinect-based robot!"

For more info on RDS 4 check:

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