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Raspberry Pi-friendly Windows 10 arrives – with an air hockey robot

Microsoft has built a robot that plays air hockey to show off its new version of Windows 10 designed for the Internet of Things.

Microsoft has built the Windows 10 IoT Core for the “maker community” who have so far largely relied on Linux-based OSes to power their Arduino and Raspberry Pi creations.

Microsoft said today that Windows IoT Core, which is now a public release, has been built for devices that don’t necessarily have a screen.
For devices with screens, Windows 10 IoT Core does not have a Windows shell experience; instead you can write a Universal Windows app that is the interface and ‘personality’ for your device,” Microsoft notes.

Raspberry Pi 2 claims x6 performance boost

One such device is an air hockey robot which Microsoft made out of 3D printed components, motor controllers, and an overhead camera that tracks the movement of the puck. Microsoft used one of Intel’s Minnowboard Max devices to power the robot, along with Windows 10 IoT Core.

With the public release of the IoT operating system, Microsoft has filled out missing features, including support for wi-fi and Bluetooth. Microsoft has also improved support for Python and Node.js, and claims it’s boosted GPIO performance on the Raspberry Pi 2 by a factor of eight.

Other Windows 10 IoT Core projects that Microsoft has published on the website include a Rover Robot Kit, an Arduino setup that can control an LED from a Windows Phone app, as well as a Minnowboard face recognition system to unlock doors.

Pi and Minnowboard developers interested in installing Windows 10 IoT Core can download it from Microsoft’s Windows IoT Dev Centre.

Though it’s a public release, Microsoft still has some way to go before IoT Core is ready for Pi devices. Microsoft says in its releases notes that Windows IoT Core is still being ported o the Raspberry Pi and that a video driver for the Pi is still under development, while support for camera peripheral device is limited.

Raspberry Pi plans to provide a Windows 10 for IoT in a NOOBS (New Out-Of-Box Software) package, which will present it as an option alongside Raspbian, Pidora, Arch, OpenELEC, RaspBMC, and RiscOS.

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