Hardware

Microsoft to Embrace and Extend Robotics?

Posted 7 Dec 2004 at 01:27 UTC by steve Share This

NateW writes, "Microsoft has just begun beta testing a product aimed at robotics and electronics hobbyists. The ".net cpu module" puts some of the same technologies behind the SPOT watch into a breadboardable form factor. The kit includes a CPU module, eval board, and a special version of the Visual Studio .Net development system (editor, compiler, in-circuit debugger, etc). The beta costs $500, which unfortunately puts it out of reach of most hobbyists for now..." Scary. Will this lead to an attempt to use their embrace and extend strategy on the robotics market, locking people into expensive, proprietary Microsoft tools? It appears the .netcpu is a 27MHz ARM7TDMI CPU. Open alternatives available now include the 60MHz ARM7TDMI-S New Micros TinyArm ($69) or even the 400MHz XSCale-based gumstix ($169). Both can use the full GNU gcc tool chain and the Gumstix will even run Linux (all Free Software).

Yikes!, posted 8 Dec 2004 at 20:28 UTC by aplumb » (Journeyer)

"Blue Screen of Death" takes on a whole new meaning...

A dead end, posted 8 Dec 2004 at 21:28 UTC by motters » (Master)

27MHz?? What decade are these people living in? Proprietory hardware is usually too expensive and lacks performance and compatibility. If there is to be an industry in home robotics I think it will be based around PC platforms such as mini/nano-ITX. A PC motherboard is cheaper, can support machine vision with fast processors, is compatible with cheap peripherals such as wifi, and does not require obscure operating systems or software.

Microsoft?, posted 9 Dec 2004 at 12:45 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

Do we really want the evil empire dictating to us how we should design robots?

Windows?, posted 9 Dec 2004 at 22:37 UTC by wedesoft » (Master)

They had to introduce C# first, because under MSVC++ you need to open a window, before you can open a thread. That's why they are so late :-D

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