We have used the Rocketbox avatars is several of our demos over the years. They are well structured, easy to animate and not too complex. We have spent a lot of time over the years building alternative avatars, but always come back to using these. However, we relied on a purchase we had made several years before, and there didn’t seem to be a way of purchasing the avatars again for external partners.
Rocketbox was part of Havok which was bought by Microsoft in 2015. When I was at Microsoft Research on sabbatical in the second half of 2018/early 2019, the idea of making the avatars available came up, and in March 2020, Microsoft made the Rocketbox avatars available for research free of charge. You can just check out the avatars from github. I had a small hand in setting this up, by contributing a script to automatically fix up the avatars when loaded as .fbx files into recent versions of Unity.
More tools will be coming, and hopefully we will now be able to share open source versions of some of our experiments to facilitate reproduction and extension of our work.