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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

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Today Microsoft unveils RoboChamps (, 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.  The audience for this is breadth, including professional, hobbyist, and academic developers.

The focus of the contest is robotics and Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 (and its underlying technologies of CCR/DSS), but I also want to point out that the infrastructure uses a fair amount of Microsoft technologies – Silverlight 2.0, ASP.NET 3.5, WCF (REST and MTOM services), Linq, LiveID, Silverlight Streaming, .NET Framework 3.5, VS 2008, Expression Blend, IIS and Expression Encoder. The site also generates its own API keys so developers can compete and have their code tie into the site’s services, provides community with ‘robocards- rich SL cards that are exposed to be readily consumable on blogs, websites or third-party networks like Facebook. Advertising also plays a big role with sponsorship, ‘in world’ ads with Massive, and I’m targeting Silverlight Streaming for the video podcast.

This is all Microsoft’s own IP. Also, the robotics and simulation code are all on .NET, and are all about services and orchestration under the covers.

More information:

Website –

Channel 9 video –

.NET Rocks Podcast – video –

ARC325 - A data-driven (REST) approach to distributed, concurrent software in the enterprise


The talk will provide an introduction to Microsoft Robotics Studio and how customers are using it in non-robotics applications ranging from business processes, major web sites, retail automation, command and control systems, scientific computing, sensor-nets and much more.  Of course you can use Microsoft Robotics Studio for cool stuff like driving autonomous cars, flying unmanned vehicles, and sailing autonomous underwater vehicles. But at the core of Microsoft Robotics Studio lies a powerful concurrent and distributed engine consisting of the two components CCR and DSS that enable users to write generic applications that coordinate messages between loosely coupled components within and across nodes. For online information about Microsoft Robotics Studio, please see the Microsoft Robotics Studio Developer Center.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:48 PM | Back to top

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