Microsoft Showing Off Pocket PC-Powered BattleBot

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At TechEd 2005, going on now in Orlando, Microsoft is using a BattleBot to demonstrate that the .NET Compact Framework can communicate with and power machinery.

The Finalizer has two large tank treads and a body made of steel bars and clear Lexan plastic panels.

For weaponry, it includes a steel axe, a lifter arm that can lift up to 40 pounds, and a retractable robotic arm with a rotary saw on the end that reaches 8,000 rpm.

At its heart is a Pocket PC that communicates with a PC over a Wi-Fi network. On the PDA is a pre-release version of the .NET Compact Framework 2.0.

Finalizer The Finalizer made its debut during a keynote address by Paul Flessner, Microsoft senior vice president for the Windows Server System Division.

It handed out some prizes to conference attendees, and used its axe to smash a network switch on a server, thereby demonstrating that one server can take over, with high-speed failover, another server’s load in the event of server failure.

A team from ASPSOFT,a Florida-based software consulting company, took a basic robot built by The Machine Lab in Los Angeles and built it into the Finalizer.

This BattleBot cost about $28,000 total, compared to about $10,000 for the average bot.

More information on the Finalizer can be found on Microsoft’s web site.

Thanks to Pocket PC Thoughts for the tip.

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