Welcome to Robotics Developer Studio

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Release Notes: Release Notes

Robotics Introduction: New and Changed Features

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Welcome to Robotics Developer Studio

Welcome to Microsoft® Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS 4). This release is an upgrade to the 2008 R3 version. It contains some new features and improvements as well as bug fixes. For a complete list of new features, please see the topic New and Changed Features. More detailed information on changes is available in the Release Notes. Because there have been significant changes in how RDS 4 operates, you should read both of these pages.

The release of RDS 4 was held until after the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Visual Studio 11 Beta so that RDS 4 could be tested for compatibility. There are no known issues. However, these products are not officially supported by RDS because they are Beta versions and are subject to change before their final release.

Reference Platform Design

This release introduces the concept of a Reference Platform. This includes a Hardware Reference Platform Design Document that is freely available and can be used as the basis for real robots. By following the design, manufacturers and end-users alike can take advantage of the services provided with RDS to simplify their development efforts. The following photo shows an early Reference Platform robot as well as a 3D model of another Reference Platform robot.

Bb648760.Prototype1(en-us,MSDN.10).jpg Bb648760.Cart_Render(en-us,MSDN.10).png

A key feature of the Reference Platform is that it has a Kinect sensor mounted on top of it which can be used for navigation and interaction with people. This design is referred to as MARK - Mobile Autonomous Robot using Kinect.

Kinect Sensor Support

This release of RDS includes support for the Kinect Sensor. Services are included for both real and simulated Kinect sensors.

With the strong dependency on the Kinect for Windows SDK, RDS has moved to a release schedule that follows the Kinect for Windows releases. This is necessary in order to guarantee compatibility with Kinect for Windows. Consequently this release, RDS 4, is designed to work with Kinect for Windows SDK V1. If there are breaking changes made in future versions of Kinect for Windows then an update to RDS might be required.

Real Kinect Sensors

In RDS 4, support for the Kinect includes the following functions: Depth, RGB, Tilt, Microphone Array and Skeleton Tracking.

You must download and install the Kinect for Windows SDK V1 separately from RDS. It is available here: Kinect for Windows SDK

Bb648760.hs-note(en-us,MSDN.10).gif Note that the RDS License does not override the license for the Kinect for Windows SDK. Both Kinect for Windows SDK and RDS 4 are available for commercial and non-commercial use. In order to create your own products that use Kinect for Windows and RDS 4 you must comply with the End-User License Agreements for both products.

Simulated Kinect Sensors

RDS supports a sophisticated 3D simulator with a Physics engine and an Edit mode to allow you to create new scenarios using existing simulation entities. Tutorials illustrate how to use the simulated sensors and also how to place multiple robots into the simulation environment simultaneously. Several sensors are available, including Compass, Brightness, Infrared and now a Simulated Kinect Sensor. A rudimentary robot, without a 3D mesh, is used to show the basic principles of simulation. Robots can be placed into rich scenes such as an Apartment, House, Factory, Outdoor and Urban environments.The following screen shots show a Simulated Reference Platform and the Modern House environment.


Bb648760.ReferencePlatform-Editor(en-us,MSDN.10).png Modern House

NOTE: The Kinect sensor cannot operate in direct sunlight therefore it can only be used on robots in indoor environments. The simulated version of the sensor works regardless of which environment it is in.



Your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome in the MSDN Robotics Forums.

See Also 

Release Notes: Release Notes

Robotics Introduction: New and Changed Features



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