Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 Beta is now released and has extensive support for the Kinect sensor hardware through the Kinect for Windows SDK allowing developers to create Kinect-enabled robots in the Visual Simulation Environment and in real life.
"You'll 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," the Redmond company informed.
Along with this release comes a standardized reference spec for building a Kinect-based robot. We take a look at the first with a robot called "Eddie" from Parallax Inc.
"EDDIE is intended to be a turnkey solution for using RDS with this platform and our aspiration is that there will be development and sharing of technology for this hardware platform. In addition, we made sure that there is an accurate representation of a robot that is based on the hardware platform in our simulation environment. You can start developing your applications in the simulator before you decide to buy and run them on a physical robot," explains Microsoft.
Microsoft also said that RDS 4 will also support the CCR programming model in Silverlight. Although this new capability might seem esoteric, it is manifesting a baby step towards engaging a broader community of developers who might not have previously been involved with Robotic scenarios.
For more information and download, visit Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio Web site.
Here is a a look at Robotics Developer Studio 4 Beta: