I would like to show you a project I was working on recently, involving Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and Lego NXT 2.0 Mindstorms robot. It consists of a DSS service that controls the robot and a WPF application that draws the current state of the sensors of the robot on the screen.

This is a link to an article that I wrote about this project: Using Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio with Lego Mindstorms NXT Robot

The code is written in C# as DSS Service within MRDS. The complete source code can be found at http://legobotprima.codeplex.com/

I also have two short YouTube videos showing it in action. One for the first version (compass, ultrasonic sensor and two bumpers): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toAZGQVWQqg and another one for the second version (ultrasonic sensor, bumper, compass and acceleration sensor): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAxK-zOwePs

The robot uses bluetooth connection with a desktop computer. On the WPF app the robot is depicted as a yellow triangle. It has four sensors: ultrasonic sensor, being shown on the screen as red triangle, two bumpers on each side, drawn on the screen as red dots when pressed and a compass, that will give me the angle of rotation. The robot also has two motor and by turning them on and off, forward and backward I control the movements of the LEGO.

The application can run in manual mode where different actions can be tried separately from one another and automatic mode where they are all placed together.

And this is my second version with a compass, bumper, acceleration sensor and ultrasonic sensor. The music is my composition recorded on Cakewalk software.

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Posted on 8/7/2010 8:01:28 AM

Very good project, I would really appreciate if you could document the initial setup instructions and the architecture. I got a lego nxt 2.0 kit, I don't know whether to use mindsqualls' .net library or microsoft robotics studio, do you have any suggestions? Between, your other projects are also amazing, especially nearest stars and lines in 3d.

Vladimir Bodurov
Posted on 8/7/2010 12:05:31 PM

Thank you Gokulnath, I will write an article about this in http://www.simple-talk.com/ in the next week or two. But you can meanwhile just download the source code and try playing with it. If you already have the lego kid the rest (Robotics Studio http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=c185a802-5bbe-4f28-b448-aefe63a7eff7 and Visual Studio http://www.microsoft.com/express/downloads/#2010-Visual-CS) is free .

Posted on 9/20/2010 1:59:27 AM

Dear Vladimir,

I'm a student at "Hogeschool Ghent" , in which I'm entering my final year of industrial engineering with informatics as my major. For our thesis of my collegue and myself , we have to create several things around the "swarm robotics" topic. First of all is the reporting of robots in which they can state their capabilities in a semantic and non semantic way, at runtime of the environment, so that AI modules can use them in a smart way , using different robots with different capabilities. A way to do this, could be the usage of webservices ( using dpws -> ws4d.org ) . Now i've encountered sooo many frameworks to develop robot software, but recently i've stumbled into MRDS , which i think is a thousand times more clarifying then the most frameworks out there. Now our main goal is not to implement a robotic environment, but to ...well the things i've stated before, thus we need some sort of software that already exists, now we already have LEGO NXT's which is awesome because you made some software that is already compatible with those devices. So if you don't mind we'd like to take a look at the code and maybe ( we're in a state of "state of the art- study" ) use it in a later stage, I hope this is not a problem for you , and if you have any ideas on how to make the thesis more interesting or what other software that is already providing an environment plz don't hesitate to email me !!

Great job btw on making the blog , videos and software !!!

Kind regards,

Jan Vansteenlandt

Vladimir Bodurov
Posted on 9/20/2010 9:55:08 AM

Hi Jan,

It is nice to see people who are enthusiastic about robotics like you. There aren't that many as one may think.

MRDS is a very good environment. One part of it that I did not explore in the article was the virtual environment - you can be sure it worth trying it. You could develop your swarm robots in a virtual world - it would be cheaper...

I am probably not the right guy to give you advices but don't hesitate to download my code at http://legobotprima.codeplex.com/ dissect it, do whatever you feel is right. If you already have LEGO - just plug it to my code and start improving it. If you don't have the same sensors though you'll have to play with it to make it work.

And when you are done with your thesis please share your insights in your blog. I'd love to read it.

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