Develop robots? With Microsoft it’s free
Redmond (USA) – Presented for the first time to the public last June, Microsoft Robotics Studio is the first attempt by the Redmond big to penetrate a lucrative but very fragmented market such as that of robotics.
Available for download in its final version, Robotics Studio is a platform for the design and programming of a wide variety of robots from the toy ones, like the famous LEGO Mindstorms, to those designed for rescue or mine hunting.
The software, which runs on Windows XP / 2003, supports many different hardware architectures thanks to the use of a runtime engine, and includes everything you need to develop your robot, program its behavior and simulate their applications within a 3D virtual environment . Microsoft claims that robot development does not require any programming experience and it can be done using a drag and drop environment.
Among the programming languages supported by Robotics Studio are Visual C #, Visual Basic and IronPython, the young implementation of the famous open source language Python for the MS.NET platform.
Some Microsoft partners, such as CoroWare, have already developed a collection of tools, services and libraries that extend the capabilities of the platform.
Microsoft hopes to make Robotics Studio a reference standard for the entire world of robotics, a goal that he hopes to foster thanks to free license for non-commercial use accompanying the software. Those wishing to use the product in commercial environments must pay $ 399.
This move is similar to the one the giant has just made in the video game industry with the release of XNA Game Studio Express, a free toolkit for PC and Xbox 360 game development.
Microsoft has already partnered with various robot manufacturers, including LEGO, iRobot and RoboSoft, and some American universities, first of all Carnegie Mellon.
Microsoft Robotics Studio can be downloaded from this site, where you can also find a lot of information about the software.