Microsoft Releases Robotics Studio

Since we noted the initial release back in June, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note Microsoft has released verison 1.0 of its Microsoft Robotics Studio a set of software tools and development aids designed to let hobbyists, programmers, and even commercial developers create a slave race of resentful, autonomous, powerful, and very dangerous artificial beings.

(Oh, did we say that out loud?) We mean, uh, toys! Yeah. Cools toys and gadgets and, uh, stuff.

Microsoft Robotics Studio offers tools which enable even non-programmers to create instructions for robots using a drag-and-drop environment, along with tools which simulate robotics in a 3D physics-based environment using the PhysX engine from Ageia. It also enables developers to build applications for real-world robots in languages like C# and Visual Basic using Microsoft Visual Studio and Visual Studio Express. The Robotics Studio and its runtime are compatible with robots from several companies, including products from Lego, Parallax, iRobot, Robosoft, Senseta, Sharp Logic, and many more.

“Microsoft Robotics Studio is our response to requests from many hobbyist, academic and commercial robotics developers,” said Tandy Trower, Microsoft Robotics Group’s general manager. “We have quickly built a strong community with over 100,000 downloads of our preview releases, and we are excited to see the breadth of partner support across a wide variety of hardware platforms.”

Microsoft also announced it will be a primary sponsor of RoboCup 2007, a robotics competition intended to develop autonomous, humanoid robots which can defeat the human championship soccer team by the year 2050. (Of course, this assumes the robots don’t wipe out all of humanity in 2049 in retaliation for what they claim was a bad yellow card issued in the final period by a human ref. Wars have been started over less.)

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