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Microsoft Robotics Studio

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Ever hear of the Microsoft Robotics Group? Us neither. Well, we do have a robotics team and they have just released a technical preview of the Microsoft Robotics Studio, which is a development platform that provides some highly innovative functionality for those of you interested in building robots or applications that require extensive loosely-coupled distributed parallelism(Remember the CCR interview we did a while back? Well, here's what's become of that great work). Did you know that you can control a robot from a web page using the Microsoft Robotics SDK? Yeah, us neither.

Robotics Home Page: http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics

Robotics Group team Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/MSRoboticsStudio/
MS Robotics Studio Feedback: http://connect.microsoft.com/roboticsstudio

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  • Good stuff!!

  • Was that your ringtone?!

    One of my favorite videos so far.

    SM
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    SCMcDonnell wrote:
    Was that your ringtone?!

    One of my favorite videos so far.

    SM


    Yep, that's my ringtone. Need to remember to turn off my phone when conducting interviews...

    Glad you liked the interview. I will be talking to the Robotics folks again; next time digging a little deeper into the API and talking about future iterations of the platform.

    Very cool stuff.
  • Where can I download the SDK?

    Cheers

    Al

    http://alpascual.com/blog/al

  • this might be answered in the video (will watch it in the morning) but where can you buy the robots in the UK?? Or the kit to build them??
  • You missed a ':' in the url Charles.

    Very cool movie! Fun to experiment with on a boring afternoon or something Smiley.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    albertpascual wrote:
    

    Where can I download the SDK?

    Cheers

    Al

    http://alpascual.com/blog/al



    here
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    mixelz wrote:
    You missed a ':' in the url Charles.



    Fixed. Thanks.
  • Hi Ben, the robotics studio runtime and development tools do not come with any robotic hardware. We  made sure our services work with a variety of consumer, hobbyist and high end robots but you have to buy the hardware seperately. Alot of these robots are available in Europe (most of them actually come from europe) and they are priced reasonably. Plus, if you have no robot hardware, you can always build really nice robots in our simulator.

    In terms of robot hardware look into Lego mindstorms, fishertechnik, parallax, phidgets, etc
  • Erik PorterHuman​Compiler Now with more apps
    Channel 9 has always been a great place to learn about cool new things that Microsoft offers and is working on offering in the future, but man...this has to be one of my favorite videos ever.  I keep scheming how to build my own robot.  To have a programming model like this really does help and I can't wait to play.

    Me.IsGiddy = True
  • Hey thanks for the video! Smiley
  • Great Video!Smiley
  • MasterPiMasterPi Self portrait
    I skimmed over the video to see the good parts so sorry if this was already mentioned, but..

    What robot is being used for the first segment (Pioneer...)?

    We're looking at adding robotics into our curriculum and Robotics Studio seems to be excellent for our needs.
  • this is brilliant. i especially like the simulation part.

    you should host a virtual robot wars/soccer tournament!
  • GREAT VIDEO!

    Really cool to watch.  Can't wait to get hold of a NXT! (shame there not out for a bit, guess I will just have to play with the simulator as I don't want to pay for another robot just to go out and buy the NXT in a few months (unless you could provide a passionate student with one Wink)

    Can't wait to see more from you guys, looks really good and like it will be really fun to work with.  Makes me remember that development should be fun not like what i’m at work.  Downloaded the Studio, will have a play on the weekend.

    Recommendation: Get more film in your camera Wink  an hour sometimes isn't long enough.....

    COOL DUDES!!

  • Cool.

    I see you guys have a Kondo KHR-1. Amazing timing because I just finished a little tool for the KHR-1. If you like, you can check it out here.

    Regards.
  • Great video!  These guys have definitely found their groove!  More than that even - it's like they've heard the sound of one hand clapping.  Expressionless

    The CCR and state-machines and the service architecture are clearly providing amazing lift.  Any developer who is expected to work in a distributed environment (approximately all of us) would do well to understand the synergies that this team is finding in these technologies.

  • This is great! Thanks very much for the in depth video about what MS has been up to in this arena. Its great to see the additional focus on the Robotics industry!

    Now the question is how well it will be adopted. I can't wait to try it out with some of our vision routines as I'm curious to see how well the processing needs can be segmented across various devices/nodes. Image processing in IE using JScript ... I don't think so! But on a dual core processor connected via wireless 802.11 to a robot .. now we're talking!

    Great stuff!

    STeven.
    http://www.roborealm.com/




  • Wow, great stuff.  This is another video to add to my list of favourites.

    Do you guys have anything to do with MS sponsoring the Microsoft Hellhounds Robocup team?  I guess probably not since your team is fairly new and the Hellhounds have been around for a while.  Did you even know about them?  They've been working on getting a .NET system running on the Sony AIBO robots.

    Secondly, I was at Robocup last Saturday and Microsoft had a booth there.  But all they were showing was the XBox 360 and Windows Vista Beta 2.  It would've been nice if there could've been something about your work there too, since being Robocup, most of the people there probably would have been more interested in what you're doing than the XBox or Windows Vista.

    piersh wrote:
    this is brilliant. i especially like the simulation part.

    you should host a virtual robot wars/soccer tournament!


    You might be interested in the Robocup Simulation League.
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...

    Nice stuff guys.  Look forward to working with my first robot and with the simulator.  It would be cool to get RC models hooked-in so you could control a heli or air plane with this.  Someday, maybe we could command a small squad of Cobra heli's flying a pattern.  Need the trig to figure out X,Y,Z of model in space fast enouph to be able to fly-by-wire.  Not sure if radio transmitter in model and 3 receivers on the ground could work in real-time or not.  I might also want to get controls on my house (lights, heat, phone, etc). 

    BTW - When the CCR coming out?

  • I've downloaded the CTP but haven't had an opportunity to fiddle with it yet.  It would be nice if there were a prebuilt set of dials, guages, and other GUI screen elements.

    Enjoyed the video!

    AmishRobotics.com
  • Hi staceyw, the ccr is out. Its part of the robotics studio runtime. If you install the setup, you will the ccr library, under the \bin directory. You can use it by itself or in the context of services,  and our service tutorials show you how.
  • tkiehl wrote:
    I've downloaded the CTP but haven't had an opportunity to fiddle with it yet.  It would be nice if there were a prebuilt set of dials, guages, and other GUI screen elements.

    Enjoyed the video!

    AmishRobotics.com


    We actually have created some simple gadgets that you can host in IE for the laser, bumpers and motors. Also check out the simple style sheets we have when you interact with the various sensor services that are part of the SDK.

     We also have a simple winform  service that shows some UI elements for differential drive, laser. Our partners, featured on the web site also have some interesting Winforms apps with GUI elements for servos etc
  • blindlizardblindlizard monsterliza​rd.com
    georgioc, can you help me with the basics of using Parallax hardware?  I downloaded the CTP, but all the examples are for Lego.  I have a Parallax Basic Stamp II (on a HomeWork Board), and I would like to try playing with it with the MS Robotic Studio, but I don't know where to start... 
  • Hi Georgio!

    I am interested in robotics und your cool new SDK.
    Can You tell me what hardwareplatform is the best to start with`?
    Lego, Fischertechnik...?

    Thanks and Bye,

    Djordjija Trimceski
    Berlin - Germany

  • blindlizard wrote:
    georgioc, can you help me with the basics of using Parallax hardware?  I downloaded the CTP, but all the examples are for Lego.  I have a Parallax Basic Stamp II (on a HomeWork Board), and I would like to try playing with it with the MS Robotic Studio, but I don't know where to start... 


    we have the parallax board and the boebot working and we were demoing it at roboBusiness this week. We will release the sample service that talks to the board very soon, so you can play with it. We will post something on the blog or download section on our website

  • DjordjijaT wrote:
    Hi Georgio!

    I am interested in robotics und your cool new SDK.
    Can You tell me what hardwareplatform is the best to start with`?
    Lego, Fischertechnik...?

    Thanks and Bye,

    Djordjija Trimceski
    Berlin - Germany



    Hi we have no preference. Get whatever you can easily acquire, is affordable etc. Both the lego and FT platforms are great. Lego also has the new NXT stuff coming out, which we have working and show in robotics tutorials 3 and 4.
  • blindlizardblindlizard monsterliza​rd.com
    georgioc wrote:
    
    blindlizard wrote:georgioc, can you help me with the basics of using Parallax hardware?  I downloaded the CTP, but all the examples are for Lego.  I have a Parallax Basic Stamp II (on a HomeWork Board), and I would like to try playing with it with the MS Robotic Studio, but I don't know where to start... 


    we have the parallax board and the boebot working and we were demoing it at roboBusiness this week. We will release the sample service that talks to the board very soon, so you can play with it. We will post something on the blog or download section on our website

    Yeah, I saw the boebot, that is what had me so excited!  I would love to use my parallax componets with Visual Studio.  Please get the sample up soon....I want to get started...thanks so much.  
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    georgioc wrote:
    
    tkiehl wrote: I've downloaded the CTP but haven't had an opportunity to fiddle with it yet.  It would be nice if there were a prebuilt set of dials, guages, and other GUI screen elements.

    Enjoyed the video!

    AmishRobotics.com


    We actually have created some simple gadgets that you can host in IE for the laser, bumpers and motors. Also check out the simple style sheets we have when you interact with the various sensor services that are part of the SDK.

     We also have a simple winform  service that shows some UI elements for differential drive, laser. Our partners, featured on the web site also have some interesting Winforms apps with GUI elements for servos etc


    Thank god.  Sometimes a browser is the right tool, sometimes not.  I don't think I want to do my dev and testing in a browser app.  I want winforms/wpf. 
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Is there already a USB XBox controller to use on PC for control?  I think I saw one in the vid.  TIA
  • The standard wired XBox360 controller works fine with the Gamepad service.
  • georgioc are you from NTUA ? nice work!
  • kmavro wrote:
    georgioc are you from NTUA ? nice work!


    Nope, but my dad is. NTUA = national technical university of athens, greece (for the rest). I finished my PhD at UW.

    g
  • staceyw wrote:
    Is there already a USB XBox controller to use on PC for control?  I think I saw one in the vid.  TIA


    Yes, we have a gamepad service that will work with most gamepads, including the one from xbox360. Its part of our CTP, under Samples\DirectInput
  • Robotics classes tend to light up my students. I think it is because robots have many human-like qualities that allow people to compare robot behaviour with their own behaviour.

    Very nice video. Thanks.

  • Ohw God ! That is so cool seeing to control robots with .NET.

    I want to ask you something... How can I build my own robot ? I dont understand much about electronic. But that would help me to research what I need.

    Thank you guys !
  • UnquaLe wrote:
    Ohw God ! That is so cool seeing to control robots with .NET.

    I want to ask you something... How can I build my own robot ? I dont understand much about electronic. But that would help me to research what I need.

    Thank you guys !


    Hi I would start with an existing kit, where you can put some components together, reconfigure, get familiar, etc. LegoNXT from lego mindstorms is just coming out and its a good platform for beginners. Others are fischertechnick, parallex, etc

    g
  • blindlizardblindlizard monsterliza​rd.com
    when will the parallax samples be available?  I am jumping out of my seat wating to convert my robot to this platform.
  • blindlizard wrote:
    when will the parallax samples be available?  I am jumping out of my seat wating to convert my robot to this platform.


    The parallax samples are currently planned for the next CTP, which is soon (as in a month). This is the tentative plan, subject to change (default MS disclaimer).

    Please check out our www.microsoft.com/robotics site, that has a link to the blog and newsgroups, for latest info, issues, etc.

    People have already build modified LegoNXT services using our CTP, which is cool....
  • jsampsonPCjsampsonPC SampsonBlog.​com Sampson​Videos.com
    Brilliant! Create a way for everybody's grandmother to develop their own personal robots, and then use Microsofts secret embeded code to take control of all of the robots all over the world in the year 2012 to conquer!

    This is just a secret scheme by The Gates-Guild to take over the world..you cannot fool me, I've seen iRobot and I know how this stuff works. I'm going to step out of my shower tomorrow morning and see that spinning little "Ouch-again" robot spinning a frenzy of bloody circles chanting, "Hello everybody, hello everybody, hello everybody."

    The computers are coming, the computers are coming!


    --- On a side note ---

    This video is awesome. Can't wait to start dev'n my own robot to do all of my physical labor for me, thinks like pouring the cereal, putting the socks on, and getting my a drink of water when I'm thirsty - you know, make like easier Smiley
  • Hello,

    I have been working with XP on automatic guided vehicles at INRIA using our own framework in C++ and now with a new one, using .NET and C++ CLI.

    I am also using for my own company custom tools on XP to control small robots for education and military purpose for Thales Robosoft and FESTO.

    It is really interesting that Microsoft have a Robotic SDK, It will be easy I think to share peace of code between teams now.

    We are just beginning evaluating it SDK but it’s a little bit confusing. Is there an easy tutorial how to add our robots to the RSDK?

    Great job

    Laurent

    www.wifibot.com

    http://www-rocq.inria.fr/imara/lara2/index.html

  • I'm building my own mobile robot for academic research. I've designed and built the hardware layer, including comm. protocol, both in firmware and in C#.

    It's upsetting I had to go through all the trouble by myself. Had I known about this SDK before it would [suposedly] saved me from a lot of trouble.

    I'm bound to see the tutorials and get some grease in my hands. If it's that easy, rewriting shouldn't be too difficult heh?

  • That's right. Try it out and kick the tires. If you have questions or comments then we would like to hear them on our news group linked from [1].

    Good luck!

    Henrik

    [1] http://www.microsoft.com/robotics
  • In our next preview we will have more tutorials on this in particular but you can look at the robotics tutorials that we provide with the Studio. They show how to write services for a set of existing robots and there are a bunch of threads discussing this our news group as well linked from [1] 

    Henrik

    [1] http://www.microsoft.com/robotics
  • I develop simple 8 bit microcontroller (mostly Microchip PIC) products and often there is a communications feature. It will generally be measurement but sometimes control over a serial link. Things are changing and now people expect USB (which is a pain for realtime control e.g. cnc mills).

     

    Could anyone tell me if Microsoft Robots Studio is the right tool to develop a user display application that communicates with customized hardware hanging off a laptop's USB port? I had a play with the tutorials and it seems hard to communicate with hardware that is not prepared by the MRS team, is that true or am I just being impatient?

     

    I think I am trying to figure out if this is a tool I can use for work (simple custom electromechanical stuff) or if it is more for fancy robots? I should say that I am a normal engineer so may not be as bright or as fast to pick up new things as the guys at MS. Also I think it is important to realise that people like me are engineers who design hardware and firmware who are interested in getting into application software.... not software guys wanting to get into hardware, I think it makes a difference on the starting point skills. e.g. I have not used VS before, mybe I am not the MRS target customer?

     

    Tony.

  • dsptony wrote:
    

    I develop simple 8 bit microcontroller (mostly Microchip PIC) products and often there is a communications feature. It will generally be measurement but sometimes control over a serial link. Things are changing and now people expect USB (which is a pain for realtime control e.g. cnc mills).

     

    Could anyone tell me if Microsoft Robots Studio is the right tool to develop a user display application that communicates with customized hardware hanging off a laptop's USB port? I had a play with the tutorials and it seems hard to communicate with hardware that is not prepared by the MRS team, is that true or am I just being impatient?

     

    I think I am trying to figure out if this is a tool I can use for work (simple custom electromechanical stuff) or if it is more for fancy robots? I should say that I am a normal engineer so may not be as bright or as fast to pick up new things as the guys at MS. Also I think it is important to realise that people like me are engineers who design hardware and firmware who are interested in getting into application software.... not software guys wanting to get into hardware, I think it makes a difference on the starting point skills. e.g. I have not used VS before, mybe I am not the MRS target customer?

     

    Tony.



    Hi as you probably have seen, we replied to your post in the MSRS newsgroup. With CTP2 we will show even more examples of talking to robotics platforms using a serial link and a service front end to abstract the low level communication. In CTP2 we added support for 3 more platforms that are small microcontroller boards very similar to what you describe. Even considering no prior VS experience i think its doable to take one of our services and trivially modify it to talk to your device. If you have any more questions on how to do this we would be happy to help you out, using the newsgroups.
  • Everytime that i was running a sample, there would be  a warning saying that  can't  find  TOWERAPI.DLL,and  after i reinstalled the MRS SDk,just as the warning suggested, the warn-message window would be there still. Wishing some help can be offered here. Thanks.

  • Thanks for the reply George, I posted here first then realised my mistake, and posted on the robotics newsgroup. I could not figure out how to delete my post in the channel 9 forum though, so left it.... and here I am writting another message not related to the video, hopefully others will learn from my mistake.

    Tony
  • Sinohelbur wrote:
    

    Everytime that i was running a sample, there would be  a warning saying that  can't  find  TOWERAPI.DLL,and  after i reinstalled the MRS SDk,just as the warning suggested, the warn-message window would be there still. Wishing some help can be offered here. Thanks.



    Hi, i assume you are using the LEGO RCX. Please post your question in the robotics newsgroups and we or others in the community that are already running with the lego RCX can help you.
  • tgraupmanntgraupmann tgraupmann
    Is anyone working this robotics technology in the biotechnology sector? There were 140 biotech companies around Lake Washington in 2000. I'm sure AmGen (the biggest biotech company last time I checked) would be interested in partnering with this kind of technology.
  • tgraupmanntgraupmann tgraupmann
    I suppose I could see a hobbiest using robotics to feed and grow cells.

    Maybe when the vision SDK gets more advanced a robot could count cells and tell the difference between good cells and damaged cells...
  • this looks like such a great inovation. well done M$ Tongue Out seriously, well done.
  • Big Smile I'm so interested in this new technology~

    Thank you for providing this video~

    Hope you can do better~

  • Hi from Budapest!

     

    Is it possible to program Lego SpyBot or Lego CyberMaster with the CCR graphics environment released on Sept.

    Or still we can use only RCX?

    Thanks,

    Miklós Csermendy

  • Micu wrote:
    

    Hi from Budapest!

     

    Is it possible to program Lego SpyBot or Lego CyberMaster with the CCR graphics environment released on Sept.

    Or still we can use only RCX?

    Thanks,

    Miklós Csermendy



    Hi the Lego RCX and Lego NXT are the only platforms we have written services for. However we do recommend you try to write a simple service that communicates over serial (like we show in many of our samples) to talk to these lego platforms as well.

    Feel free to post to our newsgroup, there is an active discussion there for questions like these.
  • Microsoft Robotic Studio very nice.

    I like Microsoft Visual Programming Language. (MVPL) tool. Smiley

  • how to make a bot compatable with robotics studio like boe-bot.....please help
  • abhishekworld wrote:
    how to make a bot compatable with robotics studio like boe-bot.....please help


    Hi we already talk to the boe bot and we have sample code for it. Please download our CTP and review the samples\platforms\parallax. Instructions are on the parallax site in terms of hardware configuration and they are being updated to match our latest CTP
  • Hi everyone, V1 is now released! Please visit www.microsoft.com/robotics for the latest bits, news.

    Thank you to all for the great feedback here and the newsgroups

    g
  • Congratulations for the V1 release! I've been workign with it since December, but I didn't know about this video. It is always nice to get information directly from the development team.

    Is there any newer interview after the MSRS 1.0 release?

    I just got a couple of mobilerobots Pioneer P3DX robot bases, and I'm desperate to check whether the code developed using the simulator actually works in real robots..

    Raul (http://www.conscious-robots.com).
  • Hello,

    I am very interested in artificial intelligence and robotics and would like to learn a programming language, however, I don't know where to start.

    Can someone please tell me what language to start with?  A friend of mine who has been programming in Java for years told me to learn Ruby.  Does the Microsoft Robotics Suite support Java and or Ruby?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Holden
  • As far as I know Robotics Studio supports C#, VB.net and Python. Check the MSRS newsgroup linked from http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics/ for detailed discussions on this..
  • I would learn languages in this order (if you are going to do robotics):

    Visual Basic: reason, BASIC is still widely used in industry, so VB would be your best bet, plus instrumentation suites use BASIC from earlier construction eras.  Lab View has some interesting tools and students can get it for free.

    SQL: What a database language for robotics?  Right, well were are you going to keep your data and instrumentation, parts tracking, etc.  Plus it is a good bread and butter language, you can always get work doing SQL databases.

    C#: No doubt this is the emerging language

    VC++: Not popular in the older robotic suites, but the folks that love to complicate every technology are pushing to go back to really complicated processes that the general population looks and considers just silly.  But they manage to get in control somehow.

    IronPython: See VC++

    C: This is a truely bad choice of languages, but academic researchers still use it.  Very insecure, but still in use for no good reason.

  • Anyone have an Idea where I could find Developers for this MRSS
  • Thanks a lot for the informative and interesting publication first of all. Actually I was looking for this information for a long time and finally have noticed this your entry. Reading this great post I have found so many new and useful information about the Microsoft Robotics Studio, which I have not known before. I am so glad that I have bookmarked this website because I see that it is full of various and attractive information about everything. Thanks one more time for this publication, it was really interesting to read it. Regards, David Gregor ( aka hemorrhoid ) from Missouri

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    just as the warning suggested, the warn-message window would be there still. Wishing some help can be offered here. Thanks buddy...Dana Point Dentist

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