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