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Greg Galitzine

Microsoft Updates Robotics Development Tools

April 10, 2008

Microsoft has unveiled the first community technology preview of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008, the latest version of its Windows-based robotics programming platform environment designed for use by academic, hobbyist and commercial developers for the creation of robotic programs and testing scenarios.   The new offering improves upon runtime performance, distributed computational capabilities and tools.   While the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio will only be released later this year, the first preview is available now for evaluation and testing by developers, customers, and partners.   According to the release, here’s what’s new:  
  • Increased runtime performance. Performance improvements of 150 percent to 300 percent in message throughput between services within a node and between DSS nodes. Services now load 200 percent faster.
  • Improved distributed computational capabilities. Support for distributed language integrated queries (LINQ), which reduces network utilization and simplifies service authoring.

A Night at the Opera With Android

April 10, 2008

Robotics Evolution

April 9, 2008

In our quest to give our readers more choice and an ever increasing variety of content — by going deeper into the technologies we currently cover as well as expanding the base of technologies we cover — I found myself in Pittsburgh today, attending the RoboBusiness Conference & Expo.   One of the first companies I came across in the exhibit hall, was Evolution Robotics.   Evolution Robotics develops enabling technologies for the robotics market, and partners with OEMs to integrate those technologies into new and more intelligent products such as autonomous robots for commercial or consumer use.   Evolution’s NorthStar technology is an indoor localization solution that combines a sensor, a processor and an infrared projector to provide accurate location information in real-time.   According to the company literature:   With NorthStar, consumer products can:
  • Reliably and directly return to a docking station from anywhere in the environment
  • Automatically perform or not perform particular functions based on location
  • Systematically patrol an environment.
NorthStar is perhaps most famously deployed in WowWee's telepresence robot, Rovio, which made its debut at this past January’s CES event.   So let me get this straight. Telepresence meets robotics?   I’m definitely interested.   But first, back to Evolution.   The company’s NorthStar technology enables developers, like WowWee to create consumer oriented products like Rovio.

Airport Chaos (Narrowly Averted)

April 9, 2008

Robots To Replace Graying Japanese Workers?

April 8, 2008

  As the population of Japan ages, the Machine Industry Memorial Foundation (MIMF) believes that robots can be called upon to fill in gaps in the labor force.   According to a Reuters story, Japan faces a 16 percent slide in the size of its workforce by 2030 while the number of elderly will mushroom.   Tops among the opportunities for robots? Health and nursing care.

  In its report, the MIMF said that Japan could save over $20 billion in insurance payments in 2025 by “…using robots that monitor the health of older people, so they don’t have to rely on human nursing care.”   Caregivers would save more than an hour a day if robots helped look after children, older people and did some housework, it added.

Samsung's iPhone Challenger

April 8, 2008

Samsung Mobile announced the Samsung Instinct at CTIA last week. Hailed by many as the “iPhone killer” (or at least a worthy alternative) the device offers full touch screen functionality and promises to accelerate the user experience by enabling access to commonly used applications and contacts with a single finger tap.

  The device, available exclusively from Sprint, will run on the carrier’s EV-DO Rev A network, enabling users to browse the Web, access business or personal e-mail, share pictures, listen to commercial-free radio and more at broadband speeds.   The crew at Gizmodo seems to like the Samsung offering.   The device will come with a 2GB microSD card which is good for 2,000 songs or so from Sprint’s Music Store, two batteries offering up to 5.75 hours of continuous talk time each, battery charging sleeve, travel charger, USB cable, 3.5mm headphones with built-in microphone, and leather case with stylus.   Pricing has yet to be determined.   Oh… and the Instinct was awarded best of show at CTIA too.

Enterprise IM Survey Results

April 8, 2008

D2 Cues Up For Google Android

April 4, 2008

Level 3's DeLong Discusses Backhaul

April 1, 2008

  Level 3 is always doing something interesting. And tomorrow, during a panel discussion on backhaul, Level 3 vice president of offer management Edgar DeLong will be promoting the carrier’s strategy of hybrid fiber wireless as a solution to help wireless providers adopt backhaul solutions at a greater clip.   DeLong told me this morning that fiber offers the scale and reliability that providers seek, but that the challenge with an all-terrestrial solution is the cost.   DeLong said that Level 3 has conducted a series of surveys and determined that only approximately 10–20% of carriers’ cell sites fall within a 500-foot radius of Level 3’s fiber footprint. That 500-foot radius determines an area where it is cost effective to connect via fiber.   Beyond that it makes sense to utilize an OC-3 microwave fixed wireless solution to accommodate more carrier cell sites and keep the cost of the solution low.   DeLong will be discussing this ecosystem approach, combining hybrid fiber and wireless in a panel discussion entitled Cell Site Backhaul: Addressing a Top Cost and Reliability Concern, at 2:30pm on Wednesday, in the Las Vegas Convention Center Room North 113.

CTIA Day 1 - Preview

April 1, 2008

  If it’s April, it must be Vegas.   Arrived after a bumpy flight last night. Not fun.   I’m looking forward to heading over to the CTIA show later this morning, and I’m excited by by the fact that I’ll be meeting with a slew of leading companies in the space. (I have over a dozen briefings set up for today alone!)   Be sure to check my blog later for updates on my what I find at the event. I’m always curious to see new products and learn about emerging strategies and trends.   But rather than wait for me to finish my meetings, check out TMCnet’s CTIA news page to stay up to date with all the new developments streaming out from the event.        
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