One of the last things I helped kick off before I left Microsoft was a simulated robotics competition for developers called RoboChamps. The first season of RoboChamps is now underway.
Because it runs in a simulated environment, you don’t need actual robotics hardware (which tends to be expensive for the really fun stuff). The first season’s challenges includes maze navigation, controlling the Mars rover, a version of the DARPA urban challenge and more. And the code you write works with real robots too, which you can win in the competition. Nice work Commissioner Mercuri.