Announcing Kinect Services for Robotics Dev Studio 2008 R3 (via Microsoft Robotics Blog)
These are exciting times for Robotics. It is
clear that the convergence of technologies and secular trends will make Robotics
relevant to our day to day lives. The availability of Kinect and the work that
the Robotics community has been doing the last few months is an example of the
energy and the potential that exists in this space. You may have already seen in
the news a couple of weeks ago that Microsoft released our Kinect for Windows
SDK Beta (Kinect SDK) —creating opportunities in exciting ways by making
advanced technologies, such as skeleton tracking, available to
Today, I’m pleased to announce that we are
releasing Kinect Services for RDS, available as a free download from our
website. Kinect Services for RDS is built on top of the Kinect for Windows
SDK. We have wrapped in the core Kinect SDK capabilities so you can use them
with the CCR/DSS programming model. However, this is only the beginning. Keep
your eyes peeled for updates in the fall. We know that there are many practical
issues for applying the Kinect technologies to robotics capabilities that we
will be addressing in upcoming RDS releases.
A few years ago, we recognized that the dawn
of robotics in the consumer market was coming, and asked ourselves how we could
drive the technologies that will make robotics relevant to the consumer market.
There is very interesting and exciting work that is taking place in academia,
research, community, and among many start-ups. We didn’t want to replicate these
efforts, so we decided to focus on leveraging Microsoft’s vast portfolio of
technologies, and the brainpower of Microsoft Research to develop capabilities,
scenarios, and experiences that are necessary to push Robotics over the last
“hump” to become part of our everyday lives.
As you can imagine, this has been a
challenging task given the constraints and expectations of consumers. Consumers
expect that their products will always work, that the experience will be
seamless, and that there is sufficient value to justify a new product category
in their homes. At the same time, unlike research robots, the constraints of a
consumer device given the price point are limited in terms of sensors and other
capabilities (e.g. manipulators).
Democratizing robotics technologies to enable
the consumer robotics market to flourish is our passion and number one priority.
At the same time, this new strategy has
forced us to be less visible with our Robotics Developer Studio work. During the
last few years, we have continued to have an active user community and I thank
you for your patience and your support. I would like to reinforce that all of
the technologies that we include in the RDS releases are the underpinning of our
new focus in consumer robotics.
We look forward to working with the developer
community to create a common platform – using Kinect – to co-create consumer
robotics projects and scenarios.