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Professional Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio [Paperback]

Kyle Johns , Trevor Taylor

List Price: CDN$ 59.99
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Book Description

May 19 2008 0470141077 978-0470141076 1
Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MRDS) offers an exciting new wayto program robots in the Windows environment. With key portions of the MRDS code available in source form, it is readily extensible and offers numerous opportunities for programmers and hobbyists. This comprehensive book illustrates creative ways to use the tools and libraries in MRDS so you can start building innovative new robotics applications.

The book begins with a brief overview of MRDS and then launches into MRDS concepts and takes a look at fundamental code patterns that can be used in MRDS programming. You'll work through examples—all in C#—of common tasks, including an examination of the physics features of the MRDS simulator. As the chapters progress, so does the level of difficulty and you'll gradually evolve from navigating a simple robot around a simulated course to controlling simulated and actual robotic arms, and finally, to an autonomous robot that runs with an embedded PC or PDA.  

What you will learn from this book

  • How to program in the multi-threaded environment provided by the concurrency and coordination runtime
  • Suggestions for starting and stopping services, configuring services, and packaging your services for deployment
  • Techniques for building new services from scratch and then testing them
  • How to build your own simulated environments and robots using the Visual Simulation Environment
  • What robots are supported under MRDS and how to select one for purchase
 

Who this book is for

This book is for programmers who are interested in becoming proficient in the rapidly growing field of robotics. All examples featured in the book are in C#, which is the preferred language for MRDS.


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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Professional Microsoft RoboticsDeveloper Studio

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MRDS) offers an exciting new wayto program robots in the Windows environment. With key portions of theMRDS code available in source form, it is readily extensible and offersnumerous opportunities for programmers and hobbyists. This comprehensivebook illustrates creative ways to use the tools and libraries in MRDS so you can start building innovative new robotics applications.

The book begins with a brief overview of MRDS and then launches into MRDSconcepts and takes a look at fundamental code patterns that can be used in MRDS programming. You'll work through examples—all in C#—of common tasks, including an examination of the physics features of the MRDS simulator. As the chapters progress, so does the level of difficulty and you'll gradually evolve from navigating a simple robot around a simulated course to controlling simulated and actual robotic arms, and finally, to an autonomous robot that runs with an embedded PC or PDA.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to program in the multi-threaded environment provided by the concurrency and coordination runtime

  • Suggestions for starting and stopping services, configuring services, and packaging your services for deployment

  • Techniques for building new services from scratch and then testing them

  • How to build your own simulated environments and robots using the Visual Simulation Environment

  • What robots are supported under MRDS and how to select one for purchase

Who this book is for
This book is for programmers who are interested in becoming proficient in the rapidly growing field of robotics. All examples featured in the book are in C#, which is the preferred language for MRDS.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

About the Author

Kyle Johns is a principal software developer at Microsoft, where he is currently a member of the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio Team. After receiving a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Utah, he designed 3D graphics hardware for flight simulators at Evans and Sutherland. He joined Microsoft as one of the original members of the DirectX Team and then went on to help develop the graphics system software in the early days of the Xbox project. Recently he has been enjoying the opportunity to apply his 20 years of 3D graphics experience to the field of robotics by developing the Robotics Developer Studio Simulation Environment.

Trevor Taylor is a consultant in the field of robotics education. After 20 years in the IT industry, including co - founding a consulting company that became a Microsoft Solution Provider Partner, he moved to the Queensland University of Technology in 2002. For six years he taught a variety of subjects, including Visual Basic and Web development using ASP.NET. During this period he also worked part - time on a doctorate in computer vision and robotics. In early 2008, Trevor left QUT to concentrate on developing course materials for teaching robotics and to finish writing his thesis. Trevor has worked with MRDS since the very first Community Technology Preview in June 2006 and is an active and well - known contributor to the community.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for the determined April 21 2009
By Drew Wang - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I first got the book a few months ago, I had a hard time getting into it in large part because I could not readily build the sample codes associated with the earlier chapters. All the codes, as downloaded from the book's companion website, seemed to have reference and path issues. I was also using VC# Express along with MRDS Express at the time, so I could not avail myself of some of the helpful hints given in the book. Since then, I have switched over to Visual Studio Professional along with MRDS Professional, and having now figured out how to resolve those reference issues in the sample codes (easily done), I must say I have a new found appreciation for what the authors have accomplished with this tome. They obviously know their stuff, and for me, starting with Chapter 6 which details the creation of the Corobot robot in the simulation engine, the book truly becomes invaluable. Indeed, I now find myself referring back to the earlier chapters as well with great relish. Like a fine wine, this books apparently just needs to be given a bit of time to 'breathe' in one's mind in order to reach its full potency. So I want to amend my earlier two-star rating to five stars. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is using MRDS.

(Note: The two-star rating as shown is based on my earlier review filed in April 2009. For some reason, Amazon only allows me to edit the text of my earlier review, but not the star rating.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough but not easy material to get through Oct. 25 2008
By Daniel Sionov - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have not yet completed reading this book though I have read the first few chapters.

My first impression is that although this book is fairly thorough and comprehensive, it's not the easiest material to get through.

The authors start with the CCR (Concurrency and Coordination Run-Time) and discuss it in such a way that it has nothing to do with robotics. Obviously, it makes sense as to why you would have a specialized set of components to handle concurrency, etc., but it helps to know how it fits in the big picture of robotics programming.

Anyway, I don't regret having purchased this book, but I wish it was laid out more in the context of robotics rather than just the individual components of the Microsoft Robotics Studio.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want deep knowledge, this is the book. Dec 5 2008
By Philip Wheat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not an intro book, but is the book you want if you want in depth knowledge. Very good book, but you'll likely use it as a reference rather than a tutorial as the topics are pretty targeted.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book needs to be updated Feb. 10 2012
By Herb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great reference book. While there are a lot of tutorials on-line and free, this is a very worth while addition to a library. The only reason it is not better is that the software has updated and the book has not.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for the job July 7 2008
By Quintin Balsdon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Of the two textbooks available, Professional MRDS is an excellent reference book for those who need guidance with MRDS. The textbook has a plethora of examples that are easy to grasp and has an excellent code library (available from the website at no cost). In addition, the hands-on attitude of the authors make MRDS a pleasurable experience.

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