Microsoft Robotics Studio is Now Free

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3 is now a freely available .NET-based programming environment for building robotics applications.

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3 (Microsoft RDS) provides a wide range of support to make it easy to develop robot applications. Microsoft RDS includes a programming model that makes it easy to develop asynchronous, state-driven applications. Microsoft RDS provides a common programming framework that can be applied to support a wide variety of robots, enabling code and skill transfer.

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio can support a broad set of robotics platforms by either running directly on the platform (if it has an embedded PC running Windows) or controlling it from a Windows PC through a communication channel such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth®.
In addition to providing support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3 provides a Visual Programming Language (VPL) which allows developers to create applications simply by dragging and dropping components onto a canvas and wiring them together.

To learn more and get started, see Microsoft Robotics Studio.

The R3 release is a minor update that has the functionality of the previous Standard Edition, but is now available at no cost to all users. As of the R3 release there are no separate Editions and only a single download.

The announcement was made on the Robotics team blog at Microsoft Announces Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3.

You can get Robotics Studio from

Ford, Microsoft Showing Cars With Custom App Plat Running Win7, Robotics Studio

Ford-Microsoft "Wait – this car tweets? "  Yes – and checks in on FourSquare, plus a lot more! 

As part of a program called American Journey 2.0, Ford and Microsoft ran a course at the University of Michigan this Spring that taught students to build apps on the Fiestaware platform.  The platform itself — called "Fiestaware" — is built on top of Windows 7 and Robotics Developer Studio, and includes components optimized to work with Windows Azure.  Ford, Microsoft, and UofM are showed the Fiestaware application platform at Maker Faire weekend (May 22-23rd) in San Mateo, CA, running inside of two Ford Fiestas, along with apps built on the platform by Ford and by students at the University of Michigan. 

Microsoft Technology Components for the "Fiestaware" platform used in the Ford Fiesta as part of American Journey 2.0:

  • Provides new capabilities for application developers to build compelling, safe, and natural user experiences that span from the embedded vehicle network to the cloud
  • Fiestaware platform technology components:
    • Built on Windows 7
    • Supports natural user interfaces, such as touch and speech interaction
    • User interface is built with .NET (Windows Presentation Foundation)
    • Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio used to manage access and coordinate use of resources on the embedded vehicle network (e.g., vehicle sensor data) and in Windows 7 (e.g., Windows 7 Speech API).
    • Platform supports using SQL CE on the PC in the vehicle to cache/synchronize with SQL Azure in order to handle intermittent connectivity gracefully
    • Application development environment is Visual Studio 2008 with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio
  • Ford, with assistance from Microsoft and our partner Cumulux, have built a set of customer Distributed System Services with Robotics Development Studio that pull these Microsoft platform technologies into a specialized automotive computing application platform.  The net effect is to make 3rd party application development for the in-vehicle environment dramatically more accessible to the vast pool of application developers in the Microsoft ecosystem.


Why did Ford choose Windows 7 for this program instead of Windows Embedded?   Ford carefully evaluated whether to use Windows 7 or Windows Embedded Standard 7 for the Fiestaware platform, and selected Windows 7 to ensure that both the platform and communications about the platform would come across as accessible as possible to a broad audience of automotive and technology enthusiasts.  Ford recognizes that Windows Embedded Standard 7 offers features and capabilities that would be very valuable in a supported production deployment. 

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