Microsoft has this week officially launched its Robot Operating System (ROS) for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise customers. The company first announced its ROS for Windows 10 at ROSCon 2018 last September. It is robotics framework that allows developers to write software for robotics hardware in an open source environment.

Developed by Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Willow Garage, ROS allows improved performance in robotics hardware. The framework is maintained by Open Robotics. Microsoft’s ROS integration for Windows 10 IoT it built from the ground up to enhance open source development of robotics solutions.

Brian Gerkey, CEO of Open Robotics, said of the introduction:

“We’re excited to add Windows IoT as a supported platform for ROS. The ROS developer community can now take advantage of a wide array features in Windows IoT, including hardware-accelerated machine learning, computer vision and cloud capabilities such as Azure Cognitive Services. I look forward to seeing the next generation of Windows IoT-supported ROS applications.”

Developer Tools

ROS provides developers with a wide range of libraries and tools to make creating complex robots more efficient and easier. It works across an array of robotic platforms. By leveraging Windows 10 IoT alongside ROS, developers can tap into Microsoft intelligence services such as Azure Cognitive Services, Windows Machine Learning, and computer vision.

“Windows 10 IoT Enterprise provides the full power of Windows 10, packaged to meet the needs of IoT and intelligent edge devices. It shares all the benefits of the worldwide Windows ecosystem—a rich device platform, world-class developer tools, integrated security, long-term support and a global partner network.” – Lou Amadio, principal Software Architect, Windows IoT

Microsoft says it will eventually bring ROS functionality to a community-supported Visual Studio Code extension. This will be achieved by adding support for Windows, allowing for simpler ROS solutions to be created.

If you want to see ROS on Windows IoT, check out the official open source GitHub project here.