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Last year, Microsoft announced the experimental release of Robot Operating System (ROS) for Windows. In May this year, Microsoft announced the general availability of ROS for Windows which enabled robots to take advantage of the whole Windows ecosystem. At ROSCON event yesterday, Microsoft announced improved ROS capabilities with ROS/ROS2 support in Windows, Visual Studio Code extension for ROS and Azure VM ROS template support for testing and simulation. Read about them below.
The VS Code extension for ROS supports:
- Automatic environment configuration for ROS development
- Starting, stopping and monitoring of ROS runtime status
- Automatic discovery of build tasks
- One-click ROS package creation
- Shortcuts for rosrun and roslaunch
- Linux ROS development
- Support for debugging a ROS node leveraging the C++ and Python extensions.
- Preview a URDF/Xacro file leveraging the Robot Web Tools.
Other announcements made by Microsoft:
- The ROS on Windows VM template that creates a Windows VM and installs the latest ROS on Windows build into the VM using the CustomScript extension.
- Microsoft is expanding support for ROS and ROS2, including creating Microsoft-supported ROS nodes and building and providing Chocolatey packages for the next releases of ROS (Noetic Ninjemys) and ROS2 (Eloquent Elusor).
- Microsoft made available a ROS node for driving the Azure Kinect and soon will support ROS2. The Azure Kinect ROS Node emits a PointCloud2 stream, which includes depth information and color information, along with depth images, the raw image data from both the IR & RGB cameras and high-rate IMU data.
- The Windows Machine Learning ROS node will hardware accelerate the inferencing of your Machine Learning models, publishing a visualization marker relative to the frame of image publisher.
- The Azure IoT Hub ROS Node allows you to stream ROS Messages through Azure IoT Hub.