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Professional Microsoft® Robotics Developer Studio by Trevor Taylor, Kyle Johns

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Chapter 17. Writing New Hardware Services

For the final chapter in this book, there is a lot of material to draw on. Building services, debugging, and deploying services are all covered in previous chapters as well as Chapter 16, which discusses building services for Windows CE and Windows Mobile.

In this chapter, you'll start with a blank slate and build services for a new robot. You'll begin with a new Generic Brick contract, and then build services based on this for the Integrator and Hemisson robots. To simplify the process of testing, a test service is also available that can execute operations on any robot based on the Generic Brick contract.

The Integrator uses a PICAXE microcontroller that is similar to the BASIC Stamp in that it has an onboard BASIC interpreter. The "monitor program" that is necessary for the robot to communicate with a PC is developed in BASIC.

The Integrator robot was selected because of the popularity of small microcontrollers such as the PIC16F88, on which the PICAXE is based. Although the Integrator is not a widely known robot, the instructions in this chapter should assist you in programming your own robot based on a range of different robots that are available in kit form or preassembled.

The authors also provide services for the Hemisson robot from K-Team in the ProMRDS\Chapter17 folder. These are based on the Generic Brick contract as a second example, and show you how to approach the task when the robot already has its own firmware and the communications ...

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