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MS Robotics Studio Updated

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Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R2 (RDS) is a Windows environment for "academics, hobbyists, and commercial developers to create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware." RDS is primarily used to simulate robotics applications in 3D physics-based virtual environments and interact with robots using Windows or Web-based interfaces. Robotics Developer Studio also includes components that could be used outside of robotics: a REST-based, service-oriented runtime and a set of visual authoring and simulation tools.

The newly released RDS 2008 R2 includes numerous new features. Channel9 has a good summary of the enhancements, also outlined below:

  • Samples and Tutorials
  • A variety of new samples are included: LINQ filtering, WPF Text to Speech, Silverlight-based command UI.
  • Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR)
  • Now uses .NET 3.5 features. Better support for multiple cores.
  • Decentralized Software Services (DSS)
  • 64-bit simulation support. Improved caching and loggging. New log analyzer.
  • Visual Programming Language (VPL)
  • Complete redesign of VPL UI. Better loading and execution performance. 64-bit support.
  • Visual Simulation Environment (VSE)
  • Display multiple camera views simultaneously. Run without any visible UI (headless). Can be embedded in another application form. Has a built-in profiler that shows performance and statistics.

There is also a new Robotics Web Site. The Express Edition is free, or the Standard Edition is available from MSDN if you have a subscription. The Academic Edition can be obtained through MSDN Academic Alliance or DreamSpark. RDS 2008 R2, CCR and DSS Toolkit Standard Editions are also available through BizSpark.

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