The worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential, Microsoft has announced the general availability of its latest robotics programming platform – Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 (Microsoft RDS), which includes a simple programming model to support building asynchronous applications, a set of visual authoring and simulation tools to aid in application development, and tutorials and sample code to help developers get started.

“This latest release is a demonstration of Microsoft’s continued commitment and investment in supporting the emerging new robotics community,” said Tandy Trower, general manager of the Microsoft Robotics Group. “We have used the very positive response to enhance what we offer, in hopes that it will continue to provide a common ground and catalyst for the future of personal robotics.”

Impressive Enhancements Of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008:

  • Increased runtime performance – Performance is improved 1.5 to three times faster in message throughput between services, and services now load two times faster. Developers can now also define more specific message communication between services, reducing network utilization and optimizing the processing of data. Together, these improvements will result in faster applications and more efficient use of processor performance.
  • Improvements to the Visual Programming Language (VPL) tool – The simple drag-and-drop-based visual programming tool now includes a simple method for defining and configuring distributed applications, making it easier to create applications that can run across networked devices. Developers also will have greater flexibility when compiling their programs.
  • Improvements to the Visual Simulation Environment (VSE) tool – VSE now includes the ability to record and play back simulations, which allows for easier review of simulation experiences. VSE also adds a new floor-plan editor to simplify the definition of interior structures, and three new sample simulation environments (apartment, outdoor and urban) that enable developers to better test their robot applications. Another new feature is support for importing content from DS SolidWorks 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) software and Microsoft trueSpace 3-D modeling software, which make it easier for developers to create their own simulated models and environments.
  • Greater development flexibility – This new release provides support for both Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008, which makes it accessible to a broad audience of developers. Improved support for running VPL and VSE on 64-bit Windows platforms provides more flexible installation options. New support for custom message transports increases development choices.

According to Microsoft, the newest Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 includes Standard Edition for professional developers, Academic Edition for students and educational researchers, and Express Edition for hobbyists and casual users. Check more details of new Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 from its official site.