Take the Project Hoshimi challenge

Thursday 1 February 2007
Computing students - the world needs you! The organisers of this year's Imagine Cup, the Microsoft-sponsored coding competition, are looking for nimble-minded recruits to compete in the Project Hoshimi challenge, testing your AI-scripting prowess and general code writing skills. And with an all-expenses paid trip to the finals in Seoul, Korea, plus a prize pot of $15000 (or around £7500) up for grabs, it's more than worth your while.

Project Hoshimi tasks you with creating AI routines for a team of medicinal nano-bots, used for internal jaunts into the human body where the mini robots can mend damaged tissues and destroy invading organisms. To get started, you'll need to head on over to the Project Hoshimi: Programming Battle website, where you can download a development kit and read up on all the rules and regulations.

The first round closes on 15 March, by which time anyone wanting to show off their l33t abilities should have teamed up with a fellow code-head and submitted the first 'strategy file' for the nano-bot AI. A second round will kick off between March and May, and in August the six best teams from around the world will descend upon Seoul for the International Imagine Cup finals.

You can hit the movies tab above to see a trailer laying out the Project Hoshimi plot, or jump straight over to the download page to grab the SDK. Good luck!