Monday, February 19, 2007

Microsoft Robotics

I know that some people are going to say that this is old news, but today I came across some very cool software from Microsoft ... the Microsoft Robotics Studeo. Where the heck have I been? For all of my life I have loved the interaction between computers and the outside world. I remember writing my first code that controlled a floppy disk drive, and it was fun to use keyboard commands to control the heads ... stepping them back and forth and returning them to track 0.

I came across this offering from Microsoft while looking for information about White Box Robotics back in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I'm going to be taking a vacation back to Pittsburgh this summer, and am lining up various things to do. I want to stop over and check out what White Box is doing, as they are looking pretty impressive on the level of research and development that they are doing for "home" robotics.

White Box Robotics was founded in 2001 by Thomas Burick to fulfill the vision of changing the world one robot at a time.

We remain committed to the ongoing development of the PC-BOT, a new class of networked mobile robots that delivers exceptional value and ease of use. This achieved by leveraging mature PC technologies, adopting open standards and creating a plug and play environment that allows just about anyone to build exciting PC-based robots.

The White Box Robotics laboratory is based in Pittsburgh PA and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frontline Robotics Inc. Thomas continues to pursue his vision as the company's Chief Robotics Officer and now is part of a new enlarged team of multi-disciplinary and highly experienced engineers. This team delivers the depth and breadth to catapult this technology into the rapidly emerging market for personal, commercial and security robotic applications.

What I really like about this is that there are a number of vendors all working together to create some standards for the platforms. The Microsoft Robotics Studeo press release lists an impressive group of companies and researchers in the robotics field.

I'm reading ... and I think I'm going to download this for my new laptop tonight! Cool to see robotics making some good jumps!


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