There is no 'free-lunch' in this world, but for robot developers the latest Microsoft move comes darn close. Today, Stathis Papaefstathiou, the General Manager of Microsoft Robotics announced that the RDS system has been made available as a free download at http://www.microsoft.com/robotics/.
According to Mr. Papaefstathiou's blog:
“By offering this software free of charge, we're hoping to help push the robotics market towards the sustainable scale … -- putting Microsoft RDS in the hands of as many developers as possible to innovate and experiment with. We're enthusiastic to see what developers around the world, of all backgrounds and levels of knowledge, will bring to the table using Microsoft RDS in the months to come.”