Microsoft launches RoboChamps competition

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Microsoft has launched an open robotics competition for hobbyists and students, as well as professional developers..

RoboChamps will ask entrants to develop code for six different competitions in a simulated robotics environment.

The virtual robots will compete online in a 3D environment based on Microsoft's Robotics Developer Studio package. The company released the new version of its robotics platform earlier this month.

Would-be robot programmers will be able to download a non-commercial version of the developer toolkit for free.

The robots will be pitted against each other in six competitions, including navigating a maze, exploring the surface of Mars and remotely piloting a car around a city street.

Other competitions will include Sumo wrestling, search and rescue, and the design of a new robotics competition.

Microsoft will fly the finalists to its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in October to compete in a final competition with real robots.
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