Microsoft Robotics Studio/Simulation – Interview with Laurent Lessieux (Video) Part 1

Robot
It's been quite a few months since Microsoft first went public with their new Robotics Studio development platform last June, so we were curious to find out how the pre-beta software is progressing, what features and benefits really appeal to the early testers, and what kind of problems they've run into.

By an interesting coincidence, one of the robot and simulation guru's currently evaluating the platform, Laurent Lessieux, happens to live not too far from us - only a two hour train ride, and even better, his primary interest is to use the platform with humanoid robots. Perfect! So early Monday morning we hopped on the bullet train headed North to Utsunomiya to see what Laurent could share with us.

Laurent's "day job" involves medical imaging and visualization software development, but he devotes most of his off-hours to robotics. Earlier this year he built one of the first KHR-2HV humanoid robots, then proceeded to heavily hack it by adding a video camera, laser, pan & tilt head, grippers, and a few other 'goodies.'

His personal workshop includes quite a few tools including a small band saw and a sheet metal brake - plus a really robust (scary) file that he uses to get everything to fit the way he would like.

All of that is fine, but where he really shines is in the area of software development and simulation, as you can see from the video clip below. Because of hosting limitations, we had to split the total 30 minute interview session into three segments, each roughly 10 minutes long.



Related links:

Laurent Lessieux Interview Part 2

Laurent Lessieux Interview Part 3

Laurent's Robotics Wiki

Microsoft Robotics Studio Article (ROBOT Magazine) - very good introductory article and overview

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4 comments

  1. Lem -

    Looking forward to the other parts of your interview …

    What tool or 3d model format was Laurent using that he was attempting to convert to the MSRS format ?

    Are there any existing simulators that do a effective job in modeling the motion of humanoid robots ?

    Howard

  2. Lem,

    Thanks for stopping by. It was really interesting.
    But I would not go as far as named myself a guru :)

    Howard,

    I have been using Bender to load the 3DS file from Robosavvy forum. Then you can export to obj from bender, however the file generated is not at the right format for MSRS so I wrote my own tool to patch it.

    I also got some issues with one of the objects so I had to use polytrans for that one.

    The tool also recenter the objects.
    I have also created yesterday another tool to generate bounding boxes for the objects.
    And I managed to fix most of my problems with the simulation so there should be an update on my website today.

    And probably a video too if I managed to capture the simulation screen properly.

    Laurent.

  3. Lem, you don’t have a Director’s account yet at YouTube?

    Great interview and I can’t wait to see a Robo-one done up in a hospital gown and mask, holding a scalpel. Not as a patient of course!

  4. Robert,

    Yes, I have a Youtube directors account. That allows me to submit videos longer than 10 minutes, but they still won’t accept any files over 100 megs. If I really crunch the video to get it under 100 megs then the video quality drops pretty rapidly – and it’s already bad enough.

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