About ten days ago (on December 12th) Microsoft released it's Microsoft Robotics Studio (which is free for non-commercial use and $400 USD for commercial). What's really neat is that there is an add-on with Blender support.
And what is the Robotics Studio? From Tandy Trower's Letter:
Microsoft has created a new software development kit for the robotics community which supplies a software platform that can enables development of a wide variety of applications which can be used across a wide variety of hardware, applicable to a wide audience of users.
Sure, this is all well and good, but you won't find any sign that MS is supporting an open source program like Blender. That's where CoroWare comes in. From their PlusPack for MS Robotics Studio product page:
The CoroWareÂ® Robotics PlusPack is a versatile collection of applications, services, tools, assets and utility classes that complement and extend the capabilities of Microsoft Robotics StudioÂ®. Now you can more quickly and effectively simulate spatial environments, manage your robotics services and develop solutions using the Microsoft .NET Framework.
Global Directory Service
Track your robotic systems and services locally and across a network.
Leverage a Virtual Sumo Arena and Virtual Soccer Arena.
Use BOS Exporter and Pre-viewer for 3DStudioMax and Blender, and an Asset Librarian.
Include vehicles, office furniture, and human actors in your robotic simulations.
Include additional sprites and fonts in your simulations.
The PlusPack is free to download though registration is required. It's in the Community Technology Preview phase so think what you will of the quality of the product. Though if it's supporting Blender, it must have some merit.
*Additional:Â Blender supports rigid body simulation authoring, including new preliminary editing of constraints. Other packages do too, like Max, Maya, CreateDynamics, and soon XSI. You can check out upcoming (preliminary) support for robotic rigid body constraints in Bullet here.Â What this means is that if Microsoft would support the COLLADA Physics format, we could use Bullet (instead of PhysX, as in MS Robotics Studio).