A couple of weeks ago Microsoft released Kinect for Windows SDK Beta (Kinect SDK) --creating opportunities in exciting ways by making advanced technologies, such as skeleton tracking, available to everyone. Tody, Microsoft is making available a spinoff of it that works with its robotics development toolkit with releasing Kinect Services for RDS (Robotics Developer Studio) a free download.
Kinect Services for RDS is built on top of the Kinect for Windows SDK. "We have wrapped in the core Kinect SDK capabilities so you can use them with the CCR/DSS programming model." "However, this is only the beginning. Keep your eyes peeled for updates in the fall. We know that there are many practical issues for applying the Kinect technologies to robotics capabilities that we will be addressing in upcoming RDS releases," according GM of Microsoft Robotics, Stathis Papaefstathiou.
"Kinect Services for RDS provides sample services that use the Kinect for Windows SDK to allow access to the Depth and RGB data from a Kinect sensor. In addition to a service for a real Kinect, there's also a service for a simulated Kinect that works with the RDS simulator. A sample application is included that shows how to use a Kinect on a simulated robot to wander around and avoid obstacles. Note that both Visual Studio 2008 and 2010 are required to compile the Kinect services. This release is for RDS 2008 R3 only," Microsoft noted.
"A few years ago, we recognized that the dawn of robotics in the consumer market was coming, and asked ourselves how we could drive the technologies that'll make robotics relevant to the consumer market. There's very interesting and exciting work that's taking place in academia, research, community, and among many start-ups. We didn't want to replicate these efforts, so we decided to focus on leveraging Microsoft's vast portfolio of technologies, and the brainpower of Microsoft Research to develop capabilities, scenarios, and experiences that're necessary to push Robotics over the last "hump" to become part of our everyday live," Papaefstathiou added.
You can download Kinect Services for RDS 2008 R3 here.
[Source: Microsoft Robotics Blog]