Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS) serviced-based is part of the Windows family. It is a environment for robot programing and creation of controlling software. It is an outgrowth of the MRDS or Microsoft robotics developer studio that is targeted at those who want to develop new forms of robot hardware. Like most Window’s based programing it uses .net library. What makes it different is that it has concurrency and coordination runtime built in so that it can handle many asynchronous tasks at the same time. Using message passing and Decentralized Software Services which is a lightweight runtime geared for services, the MSRS can achieve complex behaviors through running many services at once alongside one another.

The basic developers suite includes visual programming tools and the Microsoft Visual Programming Language that works well for creation and testing of robotic applications and programs. The web-based and windows-based interfaces, 3D simulation tools like the Maze simulator that allows creation of virtual worlds for virtual robots to explore, access to sensors and parts and additional support for languages like C# and others makes this a great tool for both academic and hobbyists as well as industrial developers.

This suite is being used to help place more focus on development of hardware instead of having to come up with unique software systems for every type of task that a robot might be used for. What makes this appealing is that the graphical environment coupled with command line tools do allow for for wide range of script languages to be supported. The ability to interact graphically with the interface to set up various tasks to be performed means that making alterations to the robotic programming is simple and easy. Most of the work can be done via drag and drop. If you need to write custom tasks that is possible too using the command line. The three-dimensional simulation software can be used to test the behavior of robots complete with physics simulation.

If you are interested in building robots but do not want to spend hours of time learning special code to program them, then this is the suite for you. Learning how to use it is easy through the many examples and tutorials that have been created for it. Each tool has several tutorials or videos, and you can quickly learn the basics and get started on making your robot do what you want it to do.