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Service-oriented computing (SOC) research and applications have been largely limited to software development in electronic and Web based applications. Service-oriented robotics software development extends SOC from its current fields to a new domain, which was considered not feasible because of the efficiency issues in terms of computing and communication. This paper presents the concepts, principles, and methods in SOC and SOC-based robotics software development and applies them in the design of distributed robotics applications. Two case studies, Intel security robot design and a maze-traversing robot application in Microsoft Robotics Studio, are used to illustrate the concepts and methods.