Robocode Online Web Application - what do You think?
Processing input and output data is a huge part of Robocode development. Which is an important part of AI too.
A simpler game which focus more on strategy is Code Ruler (also created by AlphaWorks, like Robocode). Most of the operational stuff is embedded in the main framework. Units move in 8 directions, you produce 2 types of units and everything in the battlefield is given to you in a big array. But the game is not very popular.
In most other popular strategical games with strong AI community, like computer Chess and computer Go, you end up spending most of your time polishing "operational" sub-systems too, like move generation, caching, threading, networking...
And these are virtual robots, with no physical/mechanical parts. In "real" robots, mechanics take most of the effort in building a robot.