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New and Changed Features

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Robotics Introduction: Release Notes

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New and Changed Features

Robotics Developer Studio 4

This section contains a list of what is new and changed in Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS 4). There is also a set of detailed Release Notes that provide more information on the new features and changes.


New Features

The following are the main new features of RDS 4 (compared to RDS 2008 R3):

  • Updated to .NET 4.0
  • Simulator updated to XNA 4.0
  • Support for the Kinect Sensor via the Kinect for Windows SDK V1
  • A new Reference Platform Design using the Kinect sensor with associated services including a new Robot Dashboard
  • Simulated Kinect services (RGB, Depth and Tilt plus Speech Recognition using the Microphone Array)
  • A Simulated Reference Platform
  • A sample implementation of an Obstacle Avoidance Drive service based on Kinect plus optional IR and Sonar sensors
  • A CCR for Silverlight 4.0 DLL
  • New Extension Methods for CCR
  • A new DSS Log Analyzer service
  • Structured Logging

The Kinect Services for RDS 2008 R3 have been rolled into the RDS 4 so there is no need to download and install these services separately. In fact, these services are now obsolete and will not work with the released version of the Kinect for Windows SDK.

The Reference Platform Design allows hardware vendors to build robots that can easily be used with RDS. All Reference Platform robots must have a Kinect sensor which opens up a wide range of possibilities.

Additional documentation in the form of PDF files is also available in the Documentation folder under the RDS installation. You can easily access the Documentation folder from the Start Menu under Robotics Developer Studio. These new documents include:

  • DSS Attributes
  • Getting Started with RDS
  • Reference Platform Design Document
  • Simulated Reference Platform
  • Kinect Services for RDS
  • Obstacle Avoidance Drive Service
  • DSS Log Analyzer
  • Structured Logging

For more details, please see the Release Notes.


Changed Features

The following features have changed in RDS 4 (since RDS 2008 R3):

  • Operating system support limited to Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit, and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Visual Studio support limited to Visual Studio 2010 or later
  • The RDS 2008 DSS Log Analyzer has been removed and replaced with a new Log Analyzer that uses a different plug-in model.

NOTE: You must install Visual Studio 2010 before you install RDS. Support for Visual Studio C# Express is limited and it is not recommended to use Express. Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio is not required, but it is supported. You must also install the Kinect for Windows SDK if you plan to use any of the Kinect-based services, including simulation.

Some samples have been removed. If there is sufficient demand they will be added to CodePlex. See the next section for more details about CodePlex.

The following samples are no longer available:

  • All Enterprise samples
  • Follower
  • Simulated Air Resistance
  • Service Admin

With the introduction of the Hardware Reference Platform, the Pioneer 3DX robot has been phased out. The P3DX is still included as a simulation entity because it illustrates how to use a Laser Range Finder.

There is a new security model for DSS nodes which makes them secure by default. If you have a requirement for nodes on different computers to talk to each other, please refer to the Release Notes for more information and read the section DSS Node Security Model.




Many samples are available on CodePlex and are no longer included in the package. In future, more samples will be released via CodePlex rather than waiting for the next release. CodePlex also provides an opportunity for the community to become involved in the development of sample code.

Samples that are available on CodePlex include:

  • Simulated Sumo
  • Simulated Soccer
  • Simulation Tutorials (1 to 6)
  • fischertechnik (FT16 and ROBO Interface)
  • Kondo KHR-1 Humanoid Robot
  • Robotics Tutorials 1, 2 and 4 in other languages (VB, Python and C++).
  • Hosting Tutorials
  • Runtime Extensions Tutorials

There are many additional services available for RDS on the Internet, not just on CodePlex. For example, updated versions of the fischertechnik services.


Online Information

Additional information is available online that might be more up to date than the information in the Help file distributed with RDS.

See Also 

Robotics Introduction: Release Notes



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