Use the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio Samples and Tutorials to learn how to get started writing robotics applications. These tutorials all included in the package so that you can try them out for yourself. Many of the samples run with the simulator, so you don't even need a real robot to get started.
Note that more samples are available on the MRDS Samples web site on CodePlex.
Microsoft Visual Programming Language (VPL) is an application development environment designed on a graphical dataflow-based programming model rather than control flow typically found in conventional programming. Rather than a series of imperative commands sequentially executed, a dataflow program is more like a series of workers on an assembly line, who do their assigned task as the materials arrive. As a result, VPL is well suited to programming a variety of concurrent or distributed processing scenarios.
VPL is targeted for beginning programmers with a basic understanding of concepts like variables and logic. However, VPL is not limited to novices. The compositional nature of the programming language may appeal to more advanced programmers for rapid prototyping or code development. In addition, while its toolbox is tailored developing robot applications, the underlying architecture is not limited to programming robots and could be applied to other applications. As a result, VPL may appeal to a wide audience of users including students, enthusiasts/hobbyists, as well as Web developers and professional programmers.
The basic robotics tutorials for VPL help you get started writing the very first service for your robot. The tutorials take you from getting input from a single sensor to controlling an actuator to being able to write a "drive-by-wire" application where you can move your robot around..
The service tutorials provide an introduction to several features of the service oriented application model provided by Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio including dealing with state management, subscriptions, and accessing services through a Web browser. The service tutorials require no robotics hardware but do require some C# .NET programming skills.
Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio can be used with a variety of robot platforms. In general follow the instructions for setting up your hardware and its means of communication to your PC running Windows 7. The following information may be helpful in helping you set up for the robots supported by the tutorials included in the package.
The basic robotics tutorials help you get started writing the very first service for your robot. The tutorials take you from getting input from a single sensor to controlling an actuator to being able to write a "drive-by-wire" application where you can move your robot around.
An important part of the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio offering is the Visual Simulation Environment. The simulator is designed so it can be used in a variety of advanced scenarios with high demands for fidelity, visualization, scaling. At the same time novice users can use simulation with little to no coding experience and develop in a game-like environment to create interesting applications.