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UConn CSE 4904 - Implementation of Microsoft Robotics Studio and Lego Mindstorms NXT

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Implementation of Microsoft Robotics Studio and LegoMindstorms NXTProject 3 Milestone 2 Report James Hopkins1 Introduction1.1 Background and motivationMicrosoft Robotics Studio (MSRS) is a set of software tools, a runtime framework and simulation platform to aid in the development of robotics software and applications. These tools can be accessed from the Microsoft’s Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE); the same environment used to develop most applications for Windows based personal computers, or they can be accessed directly without Visual Studio. This gives robotics software developers the option to choose the programming language that will be used as their robotic application. MSRS can be used with several robotics platforms. This is possible due to how MSRS orchestrates services with the native robotic programming language. In other words, MSRS is not used to create code that will execute directly on the microcontroller in the robot. Instead, asmall program written in the robot’s native programming environment runs on the robot and provides a set of services such as reading a bumper being hit, or setting the speed of the servo. An orchestrator written in MSRS and running with an MSRS runtime environment communicates with the robots services to control the robot. This is possible with communication, Bluetooth for example, between the host computer runtime application and the robot. This drastically increases the complexity of tasks and advanced behavior of the robotthat can be programmed being that the limitations of the microcontroller have been augmentedby the MSRS runtime environment.Typically the ability to develop robotic applications relies on multiple disciplines. At a minimum an electrical, mechanical, and computer engineer with a computer scientist are required to develop a functional robot and robot software. Lego Mindstorms NXT has - 1 -eliminated the requirement of having a staff of engineers and gives a computer scientist the ability to work independently. This is possible with Lego Mindstorms NXT since this platform includes a standardized package to include a microcontroller that is able to take input data from touch, light, sound, ultrasonic sonic sensors, and provide output to servos. The motivation for this project is to take advantage of the capabilities provided by Lego Mindstorms NXT and MSRS to develop a robot and an advanced User Interface (UI) capable of providing manual control, and autonomous operations of the robot. 1.2 Document conventionsThis document follows the recommended milestone 2 report guidelines and contains a glossary in the appendix for terminology used in this project. Furthermore, the task breakdown and timeline will be documented using Microsoft Project. 1.3 Team members and task breakdownAll tasks breakdown and timelines are documented in a Gant chart that can be found in Appendix B.The following factors were considered when developing the task assignments and the timeline:1. Karl is the most familiar with C# coding.2. James lives and work off campus therefore it is more difficult to be on campus after hours, thus more efficient for him work independently.3. Assign tasks that can be accomplish given individual strengths.4. James owns the Lego Mindstorms NXT kits.5. Divide up the work in a fair manner.6. Continuity of coding, being that coding is distributed among individual team members.The tasks can be broken into the following five components with an optional sixth component.- 2 -1. Purchase and configure the Lego Mindstorms NXT platform to include design and construction of the robot and testing the sensors/servos.2. Install MSRS and Microsoft Visual Studio or Microsoft Visual C#3. Develop UI for manual control 4. Develop autonomous operation5. Integrate mapping sensor data (distance to nearest object and touch sensor being pressed) to provide visual representation of the sensor data to be used in the manual control interface, and to enhance autonomous operation by using stored mapping data. 6. If the project is completed ahead of schedule the team will work on the ability to coordinate two identical robots using the manual interface. Taking into consideration the above listed factors, the tasks given to team members will be in a phases, with all members required to complete step 2. James will complete tasks 1, and make the foundation for tasks 3 and 4. This foundation for tasks 3 and 4 include the design, build, and test of all the basic components for the manual control with UI and the autonomous operations. This allows for the standardization of variables and interfaces. Once the foundation for the manual control with user interface and the autonomous operations has been completed Dennis will design, build, and test advanced features to the manual control interface, Dave will design, build, and test advanced features for the autonomous operations and Karl will design, build, and test integration of mapping sensor data.1.4 References- Lego Mindstorms NXT http://mindstorms.lego.com/Overview/NXTreme.aspx- Microsoft Robotics Studio: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/robotics/default.aspx2 Overall Description2.1 Product functions and perspectiveThe purpose of this project is to build a robot that is capable of being manually controlled using an UI, or allowing the robot to be operated autonomously. The robot during - 3 -operations will transmit distance to object measurements to be used in conjunction with the UI and autonomous operations. 2.2 User classes and characteristicsThe primary users of this UI will be the team members. The UI is not being developed for general purpose use, only for academic development. 2.3 Developing environmentThe robot will be constructed using Lego Mindstorms NXT kit. The UI will be written in C# using both Microsoft Studio or Microsoft Visual C# Studio edition, and Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 Community Technical Preview (CTP). 2.4 User environmentMicrosoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 supports operating systems to include Windows CE, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Any computer that meets the hardware requirements of the above mentioned operating systems can support MSRS.2.5 Design/implementation constraintsBeing that the Lego Mindstorms NXT kit provides three servo’s, a touch, sound, light, and ultrasonic sensor the robot for this project will only have the capabilities


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