Major Highlight: Robotics Engineering

Filed in Uncategorized by on November 2, 2016

RBE major highlightWPI was the first university in the nation to offer a bachelor’s degree in Robotics Engineering, and now offers master’s and PhD degree programs, as well. The keystone of the program is its interdisciplinary approach, which provides hands-on, practical education through the Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering departments. The engineering aspects provide students with the skills to design and build a robot, while the programming aspect focuses on how to control its behavior. Specific areas of focus within the discipline include human-robot interaction, medical robotics, kinematics and control systems, and manipulation and navigation. Students can take an Introduction to Robotics course, followed by an integrated four-course sequence of Unified Robotics.

Consistent with other undergraduate disciplines, students are also required to complete a Major Qualifying Project (MQP) during their senior year. Members of the Robotics Engineering Department and the CDC got to showcase a particular MQP—a search-and-rescue robot that can move on land and in water—at a recent event. NITCO, a forklift dealer, also invited WPI to participate in its annual Innovate event, which showcases a range of materials handling automation that incorporate robotics technology.

Thanks to their diverse skill sets, robotics students are qualified for a wide range of industry jobs, and are currently the WPI majors with the highest average starting salary at the undergraduate level: $82,714. There are roughly 300 students in the undergraduate program, 115 in the master’s program, and 23 in the PhD program. If you’re interested in interacting with talent from this field, consider attending the RBE Networking Night on November 29 at WPI.

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