Welcome to the hardware part of the book. So far in this book you have learned a lot about Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MRDS), mostly using the simulator, a key feature of which is that you can use the same code to control a simulated robot as a real robot. Fortunately, this means that you already know how to drive a real robot provided that the low-level communication is taken care of for you.
This chapter provides an overview of the hardware chapters as well as some key concepts in robotics; it does not introduce new code. Subsequent chapters explain how to use a variety of real robots with MRDS. Several different types of robots are covered, including wheeled robots and a robotic arm. If you have experience with robots, you might want to skim quickly through this material. Conversely, if you have not used robots before, then you should find the chapter useful for gaining a basic understanding of the field.
Some material from previous parts of the book is discussed again in this part of the book. This is intended to make the individual parts independent of each other, although repetition is also good when you are learning new material.
Because this book is designed to introduce programmers to Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio, you should view it as a supplement to the online documentation, not a replacement. In particular, you should regularly visit the MRDS home page and check the discussion forum: