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Professional Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio

ISBN: 978-0-470-14107-6
826 pages
May 2008
Professional Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (0470141077) cover image


Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MRDS) offers an exciting new wayto program robots in the Windows environment. With key portions of the MRDS code available in source form, it is readily extensible and offers numerous opportunities for programmers and hobbyists. This comprehensive book illustrates creative ways to use the tools and libraries in MRDS so you can start building innovative new robotics applications.

The book begins with a brief overview of MRDS and then launches into MRDS concepts and takes a look at fundamental code patterns that can be used in MRDS programming. You'll work through examples—all in C#—of common tasks, including an examination of the physics features of the MRDS simulator. As the chapters progress, so does the level of difficulty and you'll gradually evolve from navigating a simple robot around a simulated course to controlling simulated and actual robotic arms, and finally, to an autonomous robot that runs with an embedded PC or PDA.  

What you will learn from this book

  • How to program in the multi-threaded environment provided by the concurrency and coordination runtime
  • Suggestions for starting and stopping services, configuring services, and packaging your services for deployment
  • Techniques for building new services from scratch and then testing them
  • How to build your own simulated environments and robots using the Visual Simulation Environment
  • What robots are supported under MRDS and how to select one for purchase

Who this book is for

This book is for programmers who are interested in becoming proficient in the rapidly growing field of robotics. All examples featured in the book are in C#, which is the preferred language for MRDS.

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Table of Contents



Part I: Robotics Developer Studio Fundamentals.

Chapter 1: Exploring Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio.

Chapter 2: Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR).

Chapter 3: Decentralized Software Services (DSS).

Chapter 4: Advanced Service Concepts.

Part II: Simulations.

Chapter 5: The MRDS Visual Simulation Environment.

Chapter 6: Extending the MRDS Visual Simulation Environment.

Chapter 7: Using Orchestration Services to Build a Simulation Scenario.

Chapter 8: Simulating Articulated Entities.

Chapter 9: Adventures in Simulation.

Part III: Visual Programming Language.

Chapter 10: Microsoft Visual Programming Language Basics.

Chapter 11: Visually Programming Robots.

Chapter 12: Visual Programming Examples.

Part IV: Robotics Hardware.

Chapter 13: Using MRDS with Robotics Hardware.

Chapter 14: Remotely Controlling a Mobile Robot.

Chapter 15: Using a Robotic Arm.

Chapter 16: Autonomous Robots.

Chapter 17: Writing New Hardware Services.


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Author Information

Kyle Johns is a principal software developer at Microsoft, where he is currently a member of the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio Team. After receiving a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Utah, he designed 3D graphics hardware for flight simulators at Evans and Sutherland. He joined Microsoft as one of the original members of the DirectX Team and then went on to help develop the graphics system software in the early days of the Xbox project. Recently he has been enjoying the opportunity to apply his 20 years of 3D graphics experience to the field of robotics by developing the Robotics Developer Studio Simulation Environment.

Trevor Taylor is a consultant in the field of robotics education. After 20 years in the IT industry, including co - founding a consulting company that became a Microsoft Solution Provider Partner, he moved to the Queensland University of Technology in 2002. For six years he taught a variety of subjects, including Visual Basic and Web development using ASP.NET. During this period he also worked part - time on a doctorate in computer vision and robotics. In early 2008, Trevor left QUT to concentrate on developing course materials for teaching robotics and to finish writing his thesis. Trevor has worked with MRDS since the very first Community Technology Preview in June 2006 and is an active and well - known contributor to the community.

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Download TitleSizeDownload
HiTechnic sensors Code
Additional services for HiTechnic sensors and controllers for the LEGO NXT that are not included in the RDS package itself. The authors also maintain this code at: http://mrdshitechnic.codeplex.com/
1.78 MB Click to Download
Professional Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio code
Professional Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio code. The authors also maintain this code at http://promrds.codeplex.com/
9.47 MB Click to Download
Please see the attached document for author corrections from pages 95 and 134.
56.50 KB Click to Download
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Do you think you've discovered an error in this book? Please check the list of errata below to see if we've already addressed the error. If not, please submit the error via our Errata Form. We will attempt to verify your error; if you're right, we will post a correction below.

ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
67 Error in Text
In the center of the page, the descriptions for the 2nd and 3rd bulleted items are incorrect. The 2nd item description should be what's shown for the 3rd item and vice versa.
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