Growth in the robotic industry has remained largely inhibited because the industry lacks a standard software platform. David Goodin, President, All Motion, compares it to the PC industry of the 1970’s. Companies were manufacturing hardware with proprietary software until Windows came along and unified the drivers and application software.
Microsoft Robotics Studio, introduced by Microsoft in December 2006, lets developers in the robotic industry make prototypes of their robots in a virtual space. “An engineer could take the pieces that comprise the robot (e.g. motor, rotary joint), describe the entire robot in a virtual space, download the virtual parts, and arrange them in the fashion he wants. The engineer would write the application to get it working, then once it was finished in virtual space, he would press a “buy it now” button and send it off to a company to bolt it together,” said Goodin.
Goodin’s company is one of several companies that have partnered with Microsoft to provide drivers for Microsoft Robotics Studio. All Motion will supply the software services that will let users incorporate AllMotion EZServos and EZSteppers in their automation projects that use Microsoft Robotics Studio. AllMotion software services will handle all the low level communications between the PC and the Motion Controllers. “Engineers can write a high-level application where they can say I want this robot to go here, and I want this motor to spin this way, and they don’t have to be concerned with actually making the motor move. They can buy our motor drive product and install our driver that we wrote for Robotics Studio,” said Goodin.
: Design World :
Filed Under: Motion control • motor controls, Mechatronics, Software