Code Bytes: The robotics industry has experienced outsized growth. It’s expected to be worth almost $500 billion by 2025, and judging by recent funding rounds, investors are optimistic about the future. Warehouse robotics company GreyOrange raised $140 million for its platform in early September; in June, Bossa Nova scooped up $29 million in July for its store inventory robots and Starship Technologies secured $25 million for its fleet of automated delivery carts.
Microsoft has announced an experimental release of Robot Operating System (ROS1) for Windows as a next step in bringing features like Machine Learning (ML), computer vision, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud services and other Microsoft technologies to home, education, commercial and industrial robots.
The announcement comes as part of the ROSCon 2018 that is being held in Madrid, Spain where Microsoftis demonstrating a ROBOTIS Turtlebot 3 robot that recognises and steers towards the person closest to it and runs on the Windows 10 IoT Enterprise solution.
ROS is a set of libraries and tools that are used to build complex robots and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise delivers enterprise manageability and security solutions to industry based IoT devices used in retail, manufacturing, healthcare and other industries.
The tech giant has joined the ROS Industrial Consortium — an open source project that extends the advanced capabilities of the ROS software to manufacturing — to extend and improve the productivity and return on investment of industrial robots.
They also showed off a ROS simulation environment running in Azure that “[showed] a swarm of robots” in a virtual world, orchestrated and controlled via Azure IoT Hub.
Microsoft said that in addition to distributing Windows-optimized builds of ROS, it’s working with Open Robotics and the ROS Industrial Consortium to “extend the capabilities” of ROS to manufacturing and “improve the productivity and return on investment” of industrial robots.
“Warehouse robots have enabled next-day deliveries to online shoppers, and many pet owners rely on robotic vacuums to keep their floors clean,” Amadio wrote. “Industries seeing benefits from robots are as diverse as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and real estate.”