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Smoked by Windows Phone Lands in Microsoft Store, California; Software Engineer Develops ‘DarwinBot’ Robot for His Dog

Smoked by Windows Phone Challenge come to Microsoft StoresMicrosoft’s $100 “Smoked by Windows Phone” challenge started in January during CES 2012 in Las Vegas, is now moving to company’s Store locations across southern California. In a February 10, Windows Phone team announced that today from 2 to 8 pm PT, Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph will be at the South Coast Plaza Microsoft Store location in Costa Mesa, California, stating:

“We’re kicking things off today at the South Coast Plaza Microsoft Store in Costa Mesa, CA. My crew and I will be there from 2pm to 8pm.”

Ben states that he will once again take all comers in a “head-to-head speed challenge on a common task that real people do every day” on their smartphones and you get $100 cash, right on the spot.

Be sure to follow Ben on Twitter for real-time updates on the action and for a heads up on where we’ll be next.

In other Microsoft news, Jordan Correa, a Microsoft’s Robotics Team member, developed a robot intended to entertain his dog.

DarwinBot: a Surrogate Robot for man's dog

On any working day, Darwin would be left alone his puppy for eight hours a day. With a young animal in the house, it is important to keep it active and healthy, so Correa decided to see how effective a home solution could be. Armed with Microsoft’s Robotics Developer Studio, a Kinect, and some parts, Correa went to work on what he calls “DarwinBot”.

“DarwinBot works with Skype, with that Correa can simply dial in the bot’s user ID via Skype, and pilot it around the house with an Xbox 360 controller. Correa can also send in commands, can even play catch using the integrated ball launcher with Darwin.

Perhaps the most impressive feature, it has an automated treat dispenser as well, in case it is needed. The Parallax-powered platform can even dispense treats and autonomously retrieve the ball with a retractable arm.

To see DarwinBot in action check out the video below: