Microsoft Teams Up with Japanese Company to Set Robotics Standards

Currently many robots have different operating systems and not all can be adapted to one another.

Microsoft, on Sept. 6, announced a tie up with Japanese humanoid maker Tmsuk in a bid to set the standard in the development of cutting-edge robots. Last year launched Microsoft Robotics Studio, eying robotics as a potential expanding market of the type PCs once were.

Microsoft Co. Ltd., the company's Japanese unit, said it was forming a technological alliance with Tmsuk Co. to further develop programming software.

"Currently many kinds of robots are made individually based on different operating systems and not all of the newly developed technologies can be adapted to one another," said Shunichi Kajisa, the Japanese unit's chief technology officer. "We aim to commonize robotics technology by recommending researchers use our Microsoft Robotics Studio," he said.

Tmsuk President Yoichi Takamoto said: "We've developed various sorts of robots with different partners, but right now we cannot adopt one technology used in robot A to robot B. If this Microsoft software comes to be used by many developers, then technological advances in robotics will dramatically accelerate."

Tmsuk, a company originally focused on factory automation in the southwestern city of Kitakyushu, has developed a variety of robots for practical use as well as experimental humanoids, in cooperation with universities and other firms.One example is a disaster relief robot, which was put to use clearing rubble after a powerful earthquake hit central Japan in July.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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