I was pretty surprised to find the press release entitled Microsoft Robotics Studio Provides Common Ground for Robotics Innovation via Todd Bishop this morning. It states

PITTSBURGH— June 20, 2006 — Today at RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition 2006, Microsoft Corp. showcased the community technology preview (CTP) of a new Windows®-based environment for academic, hobbyist and commercial developers to easily create robotic applications for a wide variety of computing platforms. In addition, early adopter companies, universities and research institutes offered demos and provided support for the new Microsoft® Robotics Studio development platform. The community technology preview of the Microsoft Robotics Studio is available for download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics.

"Microsoft, together with the upcoming LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT, will help further amplify the impact of robotics,” said Søren Lund, director of LEGO MINDSTORMS at the LEGO Group. “The MINDSTORMS robotics toolset has enjoyed a strong community of users since 1998, and the launch of our next-generation 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."

At first glance, I thought this was an announcement that Microsoft would be getting into building robots like Asimo but it seems that instead it is Microsoft getting into the business of building development platforms for programming robots. There is a good overview of Microsoft Robotics Studio on MSDN which describes the core pieces of the platform. Interesting, I can now program LEGO Mindstorms using C# and the .NET Framework instead of lower level languages like NQC (Not Quite C) which is quite cool.

A neat bit of trivia is this is the project that George Moore, who now runs the Windows Live developer platform team, came to Windows Live from. It's interesting to see how different ones job roles can be from year to year at Microsoft. 


Comments are closed.