Windows 8.1 for Robotics Application

The Windows 8.1 Runtime now provides native support for Human Interface Devices (HID), Universal Serial Bus (USB), and Bluetooth connectivity.

Besides that, it also provides support for Point-of-sales (P.O.S), 3D Printers, Scanners devices.

All these are done through the APIs grouped under the following namespaces:
  • Windows.Devices.HumanInterfaceDevice
  • Windows.Devices.USB
  • Windows.Devices.Bluetooth.Rfcomm
  • Windows.Devices.PointOfService
  • Windows.Devices.Scan
For example, using these new APIs for Windows 8.1 runtime, the open sourced Lego Mindstorms EV3 API for Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT 8.1 was developed.

In other words, this suggests the single greatest merit of Windows 8.1 runtime for WinRT is that it is as powerful as Windows desktop platform.

Basically, the Lego Mindstorms EV3 is a controller for Lego - a controller is basically a micro-computer (motherboard, microprocessor and I/O) which can be program to take input data and process output result.

In robotics application, we can use the controller to serve as the body and brain of a robot, sensors such as vision as the input and the limbs (hands and legs) as the outputs.

The LEGO Mindstorms EV3's sensors consist of Touch Sensor, Colour Sensor and Infrared Sensor; it caters for USB and Bluetooth connectivity from a remote devices such as Windows PC, Windows Phone or Windows RT tablet.