Microsoft Announces Expanded Support for Robotics Development in Windows

Posted on October 31, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Dev, Hardware with 4 Comments

Microsoft is today announcing a bunch of new developer tools for robotics development in Windows. The company is introducing expanded support for the Robot Operating System (ROS) and announcing some of its own tools that will allow developers to create and build robots faster than before.

Part of the new tooling includes an upgraded Visual Studio Code extension for ROS development. Microsoft and the ROS community have worked together to expand the functionality of the extension, adding support for Windows, and improving visualization and debugging within Visual Studio Code. The extension also now includes Linux ROS development and the new visualization features allow robot developers to see their work and instantly make edits as they go.

Microsoft also talks about the company’s new Azure Kinect Developer kit that includes a specialised node for developing for ROS. The company plans to enable support for ROS2 soon, but it mainly highlighted a new community-developed feature that allows for body tracking using the Azure Kinect Body Tracking SDK.

And last but not least, there’s a new Azure IoT Hub ROS Node that essentially allows developers to connect their ROS devices to the Azure cloud, allowing them to communicate with other Azure services.

Microsoft is surprisingly investing a lot into all of this, and those interested can find out more here.

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