Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is one of the nation’s premier science and engineering-focused universities. It was established in 1865 to create and convey the latest science and engineering knowledge in ways that are most beneficial to society. A distinct mission of WPI is to balance theory and practice in education and research. WPI’s signature project-based learning and global project centers facilitate creativity, innovation, interdisciplinary study, and integration of research and education.
Not surprisingly, WPI is the first university in the nation to offer BS through PhD degrees in robotics, a highly interdisciplinary field. With the first-of-its-kind bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering and one of the first such graduate programs in the USA and in the world, WPI is at the forefront of robotics education and research.
The Robotics Engineering (RBE) Program has made a significant impact on robotics engineering education, not only at WPI, but at other institutions as well. In recognition of its leadership for developing and implementing the first ABET-accredited undergraduate Robotics Engineering program in the United States, the WPI RBE Program was awarded the 2016 ABET Innovation Award.
The RBE graduate program prepares robotics engineers and researchers across a wide range of disciplines in which the advances of robotics are transformative, including healthcare, manufacturing, material handling, education, transportation, services, safety and security, and search and rescue. It is a significant contributor to WPI’s research portfolio, conducting comprehensive robotics research in 12 dynamic clusters: Medical Robotics and Assistive Robotics, Robot Motion Planning and Control, Novel Sensors/Actuators and Robot Design, Robotics and AI, Sensing and Perception, Human-Robot Interaction and Interfaces, Human Augmentation, Robotic Manipulation, Soft Robots, Autonomous Vehicles, Multi-Robot Systems, and Embedded Systems for Robots.
Robotics Engineering has become one of the most popular majors and degree programs at WPI, with a current enrollment of over 420 undergraduate majors and double majors and over 180 graduate students. Graduates are in high demand in industry and graduate schools.
In association with the Robotics Resource Center at WPI, the RBE program participates in many K-12 outreach events, including robotics demonstrations and presentations to campus visitors, TouchTomorrow, Project Lead The Way, Alumni Days, and Homecoming. RBE also contributes labs and staff to WPI’s summer programs. Robotics is always a great draw for students of any age!