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With the first-of-its-kind bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering and one of the first such graduate programs in the nation, WPI is at the forefront of robotics education and research.  

Our passion for robotics is evident in everything we do—we have a dedicated and enthusiastic faculty and staff along with strong industry connections; perform breakthrough research; provide hands-on work with robotic devices in our many state-of-the-art labs; prioritize space for experimentation; and foster competitive teams that routinely win national robotics awards. Our graduates leave well prepared to tackle the technical, social, cultural, and ethical challenges of a robotics workforce that remains dynamic and constantly changing.

We celebrated our 10-Year Anniversary on Tuesday October 22, 2019. You can see photos and videos from the research symposium here:

Launching to a Robotic Future: WPI Robotics Engineering 10-Year Anniversary Research Symposium 

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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Innovation

In a world where humans and robots are increasingly co-existing, student researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are working on projects to help humans better interact with their robotic partners, and to enable robots to be more capable, more efficient and more user-friendly human assistants. Here a student team has built a robot that can take visitors on a tour of a campus building. 

Guiding Research in a World of Human-Robot Collaboration

Autonomous Vehicles

Student researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are looking to a future when autonomous electric vehicles won’t be fully autonomous unless they can be recharged without the aid of a human. Using robotics, that’s what this research team created.

How Do You Make Autonomous Cars Even More Autonomous?

Project Highlight: Demining Autonomous System

Every year, thousands of people are killed or maimed because of land mines. Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are working on a robotic solution that would be inexpensive enough for small towns and organizations to use.

A Robotic Solution to Safely Finding and Destroying Land Mines

Robotic Recycling Centers

Assistant Professor Berk Calli and eight other researchers will use $2.5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation’s Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier program for the four-year project, which will include building a mock recycling line at WPI.

Safer, More Accurate Cancer Detection

Assistant Professor Haichong (Kai) Zhang received a five-year $1,869,423 Director's Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his ongoing work to create a robotic system that will detect and analyze three different indicators of prostate cancer.

Human-Robot Interaction in the Workplace

Anticipating a future of work that establishes a division of labor between humans and robotic technology, WPI robotics engineering researchers have secured a five-year, $3 million National Science Foundation grant focusing on research and training related to the adoption of robotic assistants in the workplace.

News

WPI students (from left) Mia Buccowich, Andy Strauss and Brian Fay with Texas student Payton Heiberger; prosthetic prototype (far right). alt
WPI students (from left) Mia Buccowich, Andy Strauss and Brian Fay with Texas student Payton Heiberger; prosthetic prototype (far right).
April 20, 2021
WPI's BattleBot "Ribbot" alt
Ribbot in action during the finals of BattleBots
March 19, 2021
The excavator robot (foreground) prepares to place a lunar sample in the hauler robot to transport to the processing plant (orange).  alt
The excavator robot (foreground) prepares to place a lunar sample in the hauler robot to transport to the processing plant (orange).
January 15, 2021

Media Coverage

Mike Gennert, professor of robotics engineering; Carlo Pinciroli, assistant professor of robotics engineering; and Ashay Aswale, a PhD student in robotics engineering, were featured in a TV segment describing their participation in the NASA-sponsored Space Robotics Challenge. About a dozen undergraduate and graduate students have made measurable contributions in the competition.

Mike Gennert, professor of robotics engineering, offered his thoughts on the impact of NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars. “Perseverance picked its own landing spot as it got near the surface,” said Gennert, “so it was able to avoid rocks and other obstacles as it landed.” In the TV segment, Gennert added that it has “much more autonomous ability” than other rovers.

Implementing the First High School Robotics Competition

At the Albania Project center, WPI students have played a major role over the last few years in advancing Albania’s first high school robotics club. Most recently, students took the club a step further by introducing its members to one of WPI’s signature activities: the Savage Soccer robotics competition. Read more.

Career Development

WPI produces students who are well-prepared to consider the technical, social, and ethical implications of using robots in a human world. Our graduates find many professional opportunities in this growing industry.

BS/MS Option

Students may opt to earn a BS/MS degree in robotics engineering in an accelerated time. The bachelor's degree can be in any major at WPI and the master's is in robotics engineering. Students interested in the program are encouraged to contact the Robotics Engineering Department for guidance about any undergraduate requirements for the program.