D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Twin Cities Code Camp - Arioragato Mr. Roboto...or however you spell it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007 7:59 AM

SV101918 SV101919

Michael Dunn is getting ready to show of his kick ass robot and how he was able to develop interfaces using the Microsoft Robotics SDK. This robot (as you can tell from the picture) is hella-kewl.

Chris just informed me its actually "Domo Arigato" (and had to correct me a few times in my typing of that).

Chris says Hi.

Mike is having some keyboard issues...but OMG...his mouse, monitor, and keyboard is connected to the robot...which is running XP Pro! Very kewl.

He has two different batteries...one for the motor and one for the "computer" pieces.

Using C# he's able to produce a Winform showing different readings, such as the motion sensor off of the camera or the distance from the front sensor.

He has control over messages that can be output to the LCD screen on the robot...and the code to make it happen is entirely through C# API.

Mike mentioned that the speaker he's got on there was loud...but yeah, its got some good kick to it.

He's showing us how to make it actually move from the winform app...but the kewl thing is that he doesn't need the monitor actually connected. This thing is entirely wireless, which means that once it's on a network you can access it with remote desktop and command it from there! Funny thing...he's getting an exception because some sensor is overheating or something...but the error bubbles back up from the actual device to the application! Now that's error handling!

Good Lord my laptop gets hot...I mean seriously...my lap is burning up.

Did I mention I have EPIC hair today?

It took him a few weeks to put it together...sourcing the parts took a bit.

There's two options for creating Robotics programs:

C# API and a visual IDE. The visual IDE allows you to connect the components to web services.

The visual designer is very kewl...there are some pre-configured drivers (like for the Lego RTX system for example), and you can visually drag items onto the main area. You can then associate services to sensors, so that a value will be given to a service and handled.

Interesting...there's no code-behind idea with the visual developer. If you want to get into more lower level stuff you need to go through the C# API to do so (although you access that through VS.NET 2005...but just without the graphical aspects).

Robotics Studio is part of the hobbyist/enthusiast market of products that Microsoft has released, along the same lines as C# Express, VB.NET Express, etc.

There is visual processing available (for example, Microsoft has a sample where you can tell the robot to follow the color of a person's shirt).

There are some different pieces he uses:

- Sensor board, which allows the sensory components to plug in via USB. The LCD screen is onboard with that as well (2 in 1)
- He also has a motion and IR Distance sensor (they plug into a control board that he's also purchased)
- Shows us the memory component which plugs into the motherboard (allows for regular old DIMM-based memory).

Mike had some issues with some vendor drivers, so he can only control it via the C# stuff...not the visual IDE screen...but damn...very kewl!



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