Microsoft's Robotics Developer Studio 4, a freely downloadable framework for robot programming and management, has been released today. The new software will add support for Microsoft's .NET Framework 4.0, XNA 4.0, and Silverlight 4.0. Most excitingly, will also include support for up to four Kinect sensors using the Kinect for Windows SDK. To help users integrate the new features, there's a new reference hardware design that includes Kinect-based navigation like that in the video seen below. The Parallax Eddie robot kit is also built from this design.

A beta of the software was released in December, and Microsoft's own developers have been using it for some time — it's what powers this dog-sitting telepresence robot. This latest version should have improved stability over the beta. MRDS 4 isn't necessarily a prerequisite for designing Kinect-based robots, but it's good to see Microsoft supporting the many alternative uses people have found for the hardware in its development suite.