Towards Robot Application development, its not just software! a lot of other components come into picture. Software and Hardware interaction, device drivers, passing threads to all the components of the hardware,sensing,coordinating,logic/computation. Each one of these should be managed properly for proper robot movement. Microsoft Robotics Studio comes with a interesting authoring tool called "Visual Programming Language" and a simulation engine "Visual Simulation Environment",
What is Visual Programming Language(VPL)?
" Microsoft Visual Programming Language (VPL) is an application development environment designed on a graphical dataflow-based programming model. Rather than series of imperative commands sequentially executed, a dataflow program is more like a series of workers on an assembly line, who do their assigned task as the materials arrive. As a result VPL is well suited to programming a variety of concurrent or distributed processing scenarios. "
What is Visual Simulation Environment(VSE)?
" The VSE is designed to be used in a variety of advanced scenarios with high demands for fidelity, visualization, and scaling. At the same time, a novice user with little to no coding experience can use simulation; developing interesting applications in a game-like environment. The integration of the AGEIA™ PhysX™Technologies enables leveraging a very strong physics simulation product that is mature and constantly evolving towards features that will be invaluable to robotics. The rendering engine is based on Microsoft XNA Framework. "
So if you don't have the Robot Hardware, not a problem you can run your program in Simulation.
VPL Hands-On-Lab tutorial video:
Feel free to add comments.... :-)