Windows Embedded: Making It Easier to Control Robots

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 1, 2010 — For a moment, close your eyes and imagine what the inside of an automotive plant looks like. Chances are that images of an assembly line with giant robotic arms moving around, constructing a car, piece by piece, come to mind. Ever wonder how those robotic arms are controlled? Most likely, Windows Embedded software is being used to maneuver these giant steel machines with finesse and grace.

Today, leading device manufacturers are choosing Windows Embedded software to help them create connected, service-oriented industrial automation devices and systems for manufacturing customers in the automotive, food and drug, and oil and gas industries.

One of the top three global suppliers of robot controllers, KUKA Robot Group, is enjoying the benefits of building on the Windows Embedded Standard software platform. In 2009, KUKA introduced its KR-C2 PC-based controller, running on Windows Embedded Standard 2009, which enabled it to control robots in a digital factory with the familiar Windows graphical user interface, increasing productivity and reducing costs. In addition, with the Windows Embedded platform, KUKA was able to run thousands of existing Windows applications and drivers, and include support for advanced technologies like Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation and Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDP 6.1).

For a global company like KUKA, being able to adapt its technologies to each of its 25 subsidiaries around the world is extremely important. Another key benefit of Windows Embedded technology is the language and localization that can help a company open up new markets quickly. In just three weeks, KUKA was able to convert the entire software system to the Russian language. The KR-C2 control panel now offers more than 10 languages that operators can select with just a click of a mouse.

Read the KUKA case study here.

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