Microsoft Windows now integrates with an experimental build of the robot operating system, an open-source interface to help program industry robots
Humans have always been fascinated by robots. Robots have become a mainstream entity over the past few years, from the very foundations of science fiction to the smooth operation of large warehouses. In the wake of the sudden rise in the development of robotics, a common open-source robot operating system was created by Willow Garage and Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. ROS acts as a middleware and provides low-level device control and other services. Microsoft Windows users currently have to rely on an experimental build, maintained by a community, but Microsoft has now announced that they will support ROS locally on Windows.
Core ROS was ported to Windows in September for community efforts, but with Microsoft’s announcement, companies deeper into robotics can expect Windows to support ROS locally. However, the feature is still very experimental and hopefully, Microsoft will continue to improve it and finalize it sooner than later. “People have always been fascinated by robots. Today, advanced robots complement our lives, both at work and at home,” wrote Lou Amadio, chief software engineer at Windows IoT, in a blog post. “As robots have evolved, so have development tools. We see robotics with artificial intelligence as a universally accessible technology to enhance human capabilities. [and] This development will bring management and security to the Windows 10 IoT enterprise in the innovative ROS ecosystem. “
The integrated version is called ROS1 and now integrates seamlessly with Visual Studio and also facilitates Windows machine learning for Microsoft’s development environment. ROS1 will be able to use computer vision, Azure Knowledge Services and Azure IoT Cloud services as a local component of Windows.
In addition to delivering a Windows-optimized build of ROS, Microsoft said the company is working with Open Robotics and the ROS Industrial Consortium to increase its ability to expand what the ROS manufacturing process is capable of.