At the RoboDevelopment Conference & Expo, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008, the newest version of its RDS robotics programming platform.
Tandy Trower, general manager of the Microsoft Robotics Group, discussed the Microsoft robotics platform with eWEEK at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in October, hinting at the pending release of an updated Microsoft RDS.
Microsoft released the new version of Microsoft RDS on Nov. 17, at the RoboDevelopment Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. The release 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 is the third major release of Microsoft RDS and builds upon its previous versions, which have received support throughout the robotics community, including students, researchers and commercial developers, Trower said. More than 250,000 copies of Microsoft RDS have been downloaded and more than 60 hardware and software companies support or use the platform as a part of their products.
"This latest release is a demonstration of Microsoft's continued commitment and investment in supporting the emerging new robotics community," Trower said. "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."
Microsoft RDS 2008 includes enhancements such as increased run-time performance, up to three times faster; improvements to the VPL (Visual Programming Language) tool; improvements to the VSE (Visual Simulation Environment) tool; and greater deployment flexibility in the way of support for both Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008, improved support for running VPL and VSE on 64-bit Windows platforms, and new support for custom message transports.