Sunday, September 10, 2006

Microsoft Moves into Robotics

Microsoft believes the demand for consumer, research, and military robots will grow significantly--and it wants to own the market, with Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS) and the Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE).

MSRS is a visual programming environment, similar to the LabView-based software provided with LEGO's Mindstorms NXT kit. It allows users to drag and drop box-like symbols for simple, low-level behaviors and services (such as accessing a sensor) and string them together to create complex robotic programs.

MSRS also uses the AGEIA PhysX physics engine, which powers many PC games, to provide a visual simulation of the robot and its environment, complete with realistic friction, drag, gravity, and other factors.

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