Microsoft launches advanced robotics platform

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Microsoft launches advanced robotics platform

Redmond (WA)  – Microsoft this week released the first widely available preview version of its Robotics Developer Studio 2008, the software giant’s latest advancement in the emerging robotics industry.

The preview software is available now as a free download from Microsoft’s robotics website, and marks the beginning of an update to Microsoft’s 2006 software product.

Microsoft Robotics Studio 2006 was downloaded over 200,000, according to the software company.  Additionally, more than 50 third-party companies joined in to create partnerships with Microsoft in its robotics division.

The new application sports several enhancements, including the ability for users to record simulation tests for later playback and review.  There is also a new floorplan editor and a handful of other tools not seen in the 2006 version.  Additionally, Microsoft said there is improved functionality with LINQ support.

The robotics industry is one of Microsoft’s more recent targets, but it has quickly become a key player.

“We launched Microsoft Robotics Studio in 2006 in response to the robotics community’s request for a mature platform and toolset that would provide for stability and portability, allowing more people to participate and contribute,” said Microsoft Robotics Group general manager Tandy Trower in a statement.

At today’s Robobusiness conference in Pennsylvania, Microsoft also announced the robotics competition Robochamps, which will use Robotics Developer Studio 2008.  The contest will open up on April 21.