ROS is a set of libraries and tools that help you build complex robots, used in many robotic projects around the world. With the new OS, Microsoft wants to bring the manageability and security of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to the ROS ecosystem.
With ROS for Windows, developers will be able to use the familiar Visual Studio toolset along with AI and cloud features. Microsoft plans to bring features like hardware-accelerated Windows Machine Learning, computer vision, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure IoT cloud services, and other Microsoft technologies to home, education, commercial, and industrial robots.
Microsoft is working with Open Robotics and the ROS Industrial Consortium to bring the Robot Operating System to Windows. Microsoft has joined the ROS Industrial Consortium whose mission is to extend the advanced capabilities of ROS to manufacturing and improve the productivity and return on investment of industrial robots.
At ROSCon 2018 in Madrid, Spain, Microsoft is demonstrating a ROBOTIS Turtlebot 3 robot, running the ROS release known as Melodic Morenia, that recognizes and steers toward the person closest to the robot. The robot runs Windows 10 IoT Enterprise on an Intel Coffee Lake NUC using a new ROS node that leverages hardware-accelerated Windows Machine Learning.
Microsoft is also showcasing a ROS simulation environment running in Azure. It demonstrates a swarm of robots running in a virtual world connected to an orchestration system and controlled via Azure IoT Hub.
Microsoft will host the Windows builds for ROS1 and shortly ROS2, as well as provide documentation, development and deployment solutions for Windows.