Today Microsoft unveils RoboChamps (www.robochamps.com), a simulated robotics league that is open to academics, hobbyists and developers from around the world, that demonstrates the power of the Microsoft platform to enable a broad range of developers to explore new ways to use .NET for robotics programming.

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.

The audience for this is broad, including professional, hobbyist, and academic developers – and all are eligible to compete and win real robots. MSRDS 2008 is .NET based, so between people having pre-existing .NET skills and simulation reducing the costs of entry, this is available to most people. MSRDS is also being picked up and used in compelling scenarios by the likes of MySpace.

More information:
Website – www.RoboChamps.com
Channel 9 video – http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=399952
.NET Rocks Podcast – http://perseus.franklins.net/dotnetrocks_0336_marc_mercuri.wma
On10.net video – http://www.on10.net/blogs/tina/Robo-Champs-My-robot-is-bigger-then-your-robot/