Is MS Robotics the right tool for me? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am interested in developing a PC-based home automation system.  My initial plans are modest -- I want to buy a couple temperature sensors and then control the heater based on their input and the time of day.  If that works out, I may look at other aspects as well that could require more complex I/O (such as running stepper motors).  I have no aspirations of doing any of this for commercial purposes.

    The Phidgets interfaces look promising for the hardware side of things, but unfortunately the only extensive programming experience I have is in Clarion (which most of you probably never even heard of).  Clarion has very confusing support for interfacing with 3rd party APIs/COMs and I am wrestling with whether or not it would just be easier to pick up a new language.

    So if I am going  to start from scratch with a new programming language, I am wondering if MS Robotics is what I should be using for this type of application.  I also took a glance at Python but that seemed way too "foreign" compared to what I am used to.  A main requirement of my application is that it can run as a Windows service (so it goes to work as soon as the PC is booted w/o user intervention)

    Your thought please!
    Tuesday, July 7, 2009 8:39 PM


  • GlitchBoy,

    At one point, I was going to develop an RDS (Robitics Developer Studio) service wrapper for the Insteon API, but it got put on the back burner and I never got back to it.  It might be a good direction for you.



    As far as RDS as a new direction, if you have never used C# but you are familiar with C++, Java, or to a lesser extent C, then you should have no problem moving to C#.  Now that is just the first step.  The move to CCR/DSS requires a paradigm shift.  You need to get your head around a different way of programming.  Effectively, almost everything is asynchronous.  The learning curve may be daunting, but the amount of documentation is constantly getting better.

    The good news is that RDS is so powerful, it is worth the effort.  When you have your home system set up, you could later tie it into a robot or even a swarm of robots that are coordinated with the house.  The sky is the limit.

    You might want to start off by glancing through the online users guide and tutorials:


    or maybe take a look at the books that are out on the subject:


    Good luck,
    Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:33 PM

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