Monday, February 28, 2011

Robotics Developer Studio

Microsoft's RDS lets you design, simulate, and program robots using C#. RDS has built-in direct support for iRobot's Create or LEGO's NXT, as well as other robotic platforms.

RDS Simulator lets you prototype new robot designs enabling you to rapidly change and refine your design, then test straight away in the simulation.

To make the most of your experience with RDS, you'll want:

1. iRobot Create or LEGO NXT
2. RDS installed on a windows machine (RDS is a free download from Microsoft)
3. XBox 360 controller
4. A child (one or more) to justify (to self and wife) that your expensive toys are ultimately "for the benefit of the children"
5. Ability to let the children actually get involved and do more than just watch you play with "their toys"

RDS also comes with sample code packages, such as a Sumo bot sompetition/simulation (designed for iRobot) and a Soccer bot competition/simulation.

I think I know what we're doing for family night tonight...

"It's for the kids!"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Sad State of UML Diagram Editors

Why is there not a single bearable software tool for creating UML sequence diagrams!

All I need:

1. Give me a complete set of symbols. Don't ever ever ever leave out the loop structure symbol! Why would you do that?

2. a) Give me the ability to input my data directly on the visual diagram, and b) via template forms where I can populate my diagram without bothering with the visual design, and then see the diagrams generated for me.

3. Don't even bother making this tool unless you're committed to knock people's socks off. Why not approach the effort as if you were Google or Apple. Figure out what kind of tool they would deliver, and then do it.