Microsoft is hosting a virtual robot smackdown via a new initiative debuted on April 25, 2008. RoboChamps is designed as a worldwide simulated competition that will bring the Redmond company's own robotics platform to the centerstage. Academics, hobbyists and developers are invited to take part in the challenges of RoboChamps, and to put Microsoft Robotics Studio at work in a simulated environment. In this context, the RoboChamps website is the best place to start, as it offers a wide range of resources, including Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 or Visual C# Express 2008, all made available for download by the Redmond company.
“RoboChamps is built on top of the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MSRDS) 2008 CTP, and uses that product’s robust, physics enabled simulation environment to remove the barriers of entry that exist for many today. This simulated league provides individuals with immersive 3-D environments, simulated versions of robots, and compelling scenario-specific challenges where they can win real robots. Environments range from a maze to the surface of the planet Mars to downtown driving, to robot rescue, to soccer. The top four finalists will be flown to PDC, where the competition moves to the real world and participants apply their code to real robots,” revealed Christophe Fiessinger, Senior Technical Product Manager for Microsoft Office Project Server.