31 May 2010

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3

Microsoft Robotics Developers Studio

Previously, if you wanted to try out Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio for free, you could do so accepting certain limitations. Then later you could opt for a paid version that included more features, better settings and a complete toolkit. Now you can have everything the paid version had for free.

But not only you now can get a full Robotics Developer Studio for free. You can also take advantage of lots of also free documentation and training materials in order to learn using it effectively right away.

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3 is a .NET based IDE that you can use to create robotic applications across a multitude of compatible hardware. This program can be installed in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. While it can exist independently, you can also use it alongside Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Studio 2010, even if you are using a Express Edition.

Features

Lightweight Asynchronous Services Oriented Runtime
Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR) makes it easier to handle asynchronous input and output, eliminating the conventional complexities of manual threading, locks, and semaphores. Lightweight state-oriented Decentralized Software Services (DSS) framework enables you to create program modules that can inter-operate on a robot and on connected PCs using a simple, open protocol.

Visual Programming Language (VPL)

VPL provides a simple drag-and-drop visual programming language tool that makes it easy to create robotics applications. VPL also provides the ability to take a collection of connected blocks and reuse them as single block elsewhere in your program. VPL is also capable of generating human-readable C#.

DSS Manifest Editor
DSS Manifest Editor provides simple creation of application configuration and distribution scenarios.

DSS Log Analyzer

The DSS Log Analyzer tool allows you to view message flows across multiple DSS services. DSS Log Analyzer also allows you to inspect message details.

Visual Simulation Environment
VSE provides the ability to simulate and test robotic applications using a 3D physics-based simulation tool. This allows developers to create robotics applications without the hardware. Sample simulation models and environments enables you to test your application in a variety of 3D virtual environments.

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3 was already a excellent IDE for Robotics Programming and Development. Now at the low low price of Free, it becomes the best option around. Option that can become even better if you use it alongside a Visual Studio installation. Proof of it is that it has been already downloaded around 2 million times. Considering the very specific kind of niche software program this is, that is a huge lot.  You don’t download a half a gig software package like this without the intention of actually using it.

Some Notes

On the why Microsoft has made it free, many are thinking that is because it was not a successful software development. But according to numbers and interest on it. That don’t seems to be the case. So there are 3 logical possible reasons for that:

1.-There is supplemental premium software coming that will be compatible with this program

2.-There is a new version of this very program coming that will breakaway significantly from this version

3.-Microsoft wants to cultivate this software niche faster that what they had projected having it as a paid program. In order to introduce premium solutions later on.

The Robotics market is going to start growing dramatically from 2010 on, because this is the year where many developed countries had already scheduled new initiatives for promoting development  in the space.  So whatever reason Microsoft may have to put this software for free, if you are interested in Robotics. 2010 is the perfect year to try your hand on it, as things will only heat up a lot faster from here on.

Linkage

Microsoft Robotics                                                               <— Homepage

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3       <— Download Link

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