Microsoft Robotic Development Studio (RDS) R3 consolidates the previous Express, Standard and Academic versions and makes the new platform available as a free download. Microsoft has also integrated the CCR (Concurrency and Coordination Runtime) and DSS (Decentralized Software Services) frameworks.
RDS is designed to work with Microsoft Visual Studio or Microsoft Visual C# Express. The latter is a free download as well. RDS also supports other programming languages the work with Visual Studio. This includes the graphical VPL (Visual Programming Language). RDS application examples for languages in addition to Visual C# can be found on Codeplex.
RDS is being used for many more applications than just controlling robots. For example, Ford and University of Michigan students are prototyping "in-car" connectivity as part of the "American Journey 2.0" project. It takes advantage of CCR and DSS frameworks.
The Robotic Developer Studio did drop support from the .NET Compact Framework (CF). CF is designed for small micros whereas RDS now requires one of the Windows operating systems, including Windows CE, to handle RDS applications. The Visual Simulation Environment (VSE) now delivers high-fidelity simulation environment utilizing NVIDIA's PhysX engine. It brings game-quality 3D simulations with real-world physics interactions to RDS applications. Support for additional simulator environments is also supported. RDS applications can also work in conjuction with Windows Azure cloud applications.