Microsoft has officially released its  Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS 4) for developers. There has been tremendous excitement with Microsoft Kinect within the robotics space signaling the potential opportunities that exist in transforming robots to low-cost mainstream consumer devices. RDS 4, with support from the Kinect sensor, aims to make it easier for developers to build applications, including those directed at personal robotics and consumer scenarios, both in hardware and in simulation.

  • With RDS 4 simulation tools, you don’t need physical hardware to develop a Kinect-based robot!
  • For hardware design, Microsoft has published the Robotics Developer Studio: Reference Platform Design specification for a standardized Kinect-based robot, to work with RDS 4. Parallax, Inc has manufactured a hardware kit based on the reference platform design specification which is available now.
  • RDS 4 also adds support for Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, XNA 4.0, and Silverlight 4.0.
  • Developers can use the tool to build commercial products based on the RDS 4 platform.

Here is an example of what can be done with RDS 4: