Chapter 5. The MRDS Visual Simulation Environment

The Visual Simulation Environment, a key part of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio, uses 3D graphics to render a virtual world and a physics engine to approximate interactions between objects within that world. At first glance, it looks something like a game engine. However, after a little bit of use, it quickly becomes apparent that it is much different; whereas many actions and events are scripted in a game environment, the things that happen in the simulator rely completely on the interactions and motions of objects in the environment.

This chapter explains how to use the Visual Simulation Environment along with all of the simulation objects and services provided in the SDK. Subsequent chapters explain in detail how you can add your own objects and environments to the simulator to explore your own robotic designs.

In this chapter, you'll learn the following:

  • How the simulator can help you prototype new algorithms and robots

  • What hardware and software are required to run the simulator

  • How to use the basic simulator functions

  • How to use the Simulation Editor to place robots and other entities in a new environment

  • What built-in entities are provided with the SDK and how to use them

This chapter focuses on using the simulator functionality with the environments and entities provided as part of the SDK. The next chapters go into more detail about how you define your own environment and entities.

The Advantages of Simulation

The simulator is ...

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