Online olympics

14th March 2003 at 00:00
Web game, Sodarace offers young designers and engineers the chance to battle it out in a state-of-the-art educational competition where humans and artificial intelligences (AI) create virtual racing robots in an online olympics over simulated terrains.

The site is an impressive cross between a video game and an erector set and is a playful exploration of science at its best. Players join a vibrant community by logging on to www.sodarace.net and are guaranteed to learn.

For AI researchers the sodarace play space is a chance to test their learning of algorithms. In building their own robots, players can advance their knowledge and understanding of scientific principles. Children also learn from each other by sharing tips and techniques. Sodarace has been developed by Soda Creative and the computer science department at Queen Mary University, London. It follows the 2001 Interactive Arts BAFTA winning www.sodaplay.com site.

AI use the Sodarace API (Application Programming Interface) to understand how to build computer-generated virtual robots. There is even a Sodarace league.

www.sodarace.com

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