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MS Robotics Studio versus other development frameworks RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Folks,

    First of all, I am new to this forum, so apologies in advance if i'm in the wrong place. 

    We are in the initial stages of starting a mobile robot project and currently evaluating both open-source and commercial tools and platforms so we don't reinvent the wheel. Any guidance we can get from any of you folks would be extremely appreciated and we will be sure to keep you abreast of our work (if you wish).


    1. Development Framework

    Specifically relating to the Mircosoft Robotics Studio, can anyone comment on the pro's and con's of MSRS versus
    Webots 5 versus the Player/Stage/Gazebo framework? I understand that the latter probably has the largest volume of open-source applications, but has been largely abandoned recently in favour of the the first two??


    Since most of you are mobile robotics researchers or developers (as opposed to strictly Microsoft Robotics Studio guys), I was hoping i could also tap some of you to offer some advise on some other off-the-shelf platforms and tools (again, if this question is inappropriate to this specific forum, please accept my apologies - and in such case, perhaps you could respond by private email rather than through this forum??? email: vivek@cyberworkstvr.com)


    2. Embedded RTOS

    Has anyone used or know of the ARIA Embedded Applications framework – any comments on this or alternatives? Does MS Robotics Studio work with this?


    3. Mobile Base

    In terms of platforms, we are thinking in terms of the ERA-MOBI (http://www.videredesign.com/robots/era_mobi.htm), but are open to alternatives (base must be have high precision deadreckoning and 20kg payload capacity). Anyone out there aware of this platform and alternates that we should perhaps consider??


    4. Navigation and Localization Algorithms

    It might be helpful to you for me to say a word or two about the applications we are targeting...initially we want to enable very simple functionality but in a real-world setting. For example, we should be able to teach a complex path and the robot should be able to repeat that path over several hours DESPITE deadreckoning odometric errors – this means it must employ sensor subsystems such as laser rangefinder mapping, ultrasonic rangefinder mapping, or gyros to detect deadreckoning errors in realtime and localize the robot so as to maintain path accuracy of a couple of centimeters. This in turn requires a lot of realtime sensory data processing. I imagine that several of you may have already perfected such applications – if so, could you please inform us of your results - again so we are not reinventing the wheel :-)


    Again, anyone who can help suggest existing platforms, subsystems, sensors, apps, etc to make our work easier would be greatly appreciated.


    Cheers,

    Vivek Burhanpurkar

    Monday, April 7, 2008 7:04 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

    Karto Robotics offers localization, mapping and navigation solutions that work with both MSRS and Player/Stage.  Please take a look at kartorobotics.com for an overview of our solutions, and please feel free to download a 30-day trial to evaluate whether the software meets your needs.

    Karto solutions are based on many years of research experience at SRI Internationals AI lab.  We have implemented robust algorithms that take laser rangefinder data to product maps and to accurately localize position within maps.

    If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.  Thanks!
    Thursday, April 10, 2008 4:50 AM

All replies

  • I'll duck the impending flame war by noting that I have limited experience with Player/Stage and Carmen and no experience with Webots.  I think you'll find with MSRS that while there is a bit of a learning curve, a strong support community has sprung up very quickly.  There are some very powerful ideas at play in the CCR and working in .NET lets you get the easy things done fast, letting you focus your efforts where they matter most.   That said, it would be good to get an opinion from someone who's played on both sides of the fence.

    To help you avoid reinventing the wheel, you might want to look at http://openslam.org/, which is a repository for a handful of very mature laser-based mapping systems.  Most are linux or matlab-oriented but you can probably dig out the parts of the code you need and port them to MSRS.  I'd argue that for the research community laser-based localization is a solved problem, even in the presence of dynamic environments (people moving about, etc) and you should be able to find solutions for what you need to do.

    $0.02.
    R

    Monday, April 7, 2008 7:36 PM
  • 1. I also do not have much experience with other robotics frameworks, but here is a link with a brief comparison of the major ones out there: http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT5739475111.html. It doesn't go into too much detail, but does introduce each framework.

    3.  My company sells a robotic platform that is comparable to the the ERA-MOBI.  Our CoroBot (http://www.corobot.net/) gives you a choice of Linux with Player / Stage and / or Windows with MSRS.  It does not come with a LRF, and because of the skid steering, it might not have the best dead-reckoning based solely on encoders, but if you are planning on using MSRS, this platform will get you started much faster.
    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 1:34 PM
  • Hello,

    Karto Robotics offers localization, mapping and navigation solutions that work with both MSRS and Player/Stage.  Please take a look at kartorobotics.com for an overview of our solutions, and please feel free to download a 30-day trial to evaluate whether the software meets your needs.

    Karto solutions are based on many years of research experience at SRI Internationals AI lab.  We have implemented robust algorithms that take laser rangefinder data to product maps and to accurately localize position within maps.

    If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.  Thanks!
    Thursday, April 10, 2008 4:50 AM