FIRST in Robotics
WPI Develops Nation's First Robotics Engineering Program and Sponsors World Champion Robotics Team
WPI will offer the nation’s first bachelor’s degree program in robotics engineering starting this fall. The new major grows out of an increasing demand for robots and robotics systems to meet national needs in such areas as defense and security, elder care, automation of household tasks, customized manufacturing, and interactive entertainment, and also responds to the escalating interest in robots among young people.
In the program, to be offered jointly by the Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering departments, students will receive a firm grounding in the fundamentals of these three fields, and learn to apply them to design and build robots and robotic systems for a wide variety of emerging applications. Graduates will be well-prepared for careers in the rapidly expanding robotics industry and for graduate work in the field. The program also includes an entrepreneurship course to ensure that students have the skills they need to turn their robotics ideas into viable businesses.
The robotics engineering program will draw on the expertise of more than 20 associated faculty and staff members and capitalize on the university’s involvement in high-profile robotics competitions over the past 15 years.
One of those competitions is the international FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics contest. This year, the robotics team from the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Sciences at WPI, which is sponsored by WPI, walked away with the championship trophy.
Student teams built their robots over a period of just six weeks. They were required to meet design specifications that included rigid overall weight and size limits, but otherwise left room for substantial innovation.
The WPI/Mass Academy team is one of only five that have remained continuously involved in FIRST since the competition was started by WPI alumnus Dean Kamen in 1992.Maintained by firstname.lastname@example.org