No. I have been grabbing focus, then returning to the Application Bar. However, the user needs to be typing in the Application Bar, while the underlying applications are clearing. When I grab focus, the net effect is partial words will be entered into the Application Bar, while the rest of the word appears in one of the other applications.
From the posts I've seen, it appears that, currently, there is no way to accomplish what I'm trying to do. It was suggested that I try the "Activate" method. However, because the "Activate" method incorporates the "Focus" method, this does not accomplish my objective. Focus is still being moved from my desired application/control.
I would agree with this assessment. The Robotics product is at the mercy of how the external applications are designed - if those applications require focus then there won't be anyway to get around it. I think the best way to think about this is to compare a User to a Robot in a sense. If a User can't do the action simultaneously, then it shouldn't be expected that a Robot can do what the User can't. An automation can be quicker but the design of the product is to have all the capabilities of a regular user.