Over at the Microsoft Robotics Studio Blog Joseph Fernando has a couple of interesting posts.
The first one is about a new robot that lets people take a virtual tour of the palace at Versailles. Robotsoft has created a robot that is allowed into the private areas of the palace. Orange Telecom fiber customers will be able to view what the robot "sees" in high definition from home. They will also be able to control the robot from their PCs. Pretty cool really. This allows people to visit, at least virtually, a lot more of the palace but without the security concerns of letting people actually physically wander around. Could this be a way to open more currently private spaces with broad public interest? Maybe.
Joseph also provides a bunch of links to the recent Sumo Robot competition that Microsoft sponsored at MEDC 2007. I really enjoyed the pictures he posted of the behind the scenes set-up operation as well. They assembled 40 sumo bots for the event. I can't imagine how much more work it would have been if they hadn't been using standard parts like the fully assembled Create robots from iRobot that were the robot bases.
(BTW it appears that Tom's Hardware is running a Create robot contest.) I'm not sure if that is the same or different from the one at http://www.instructables.com/group/iRobot but there look like oppertunities to do fun robotic stuff over the summer and win cash as well.