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.
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:
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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.
For the second year in a row, WPI took home top honors in last week’s International Robotic Sailing Competition SailBot 2018. WPI’s win caps off a year of intense work on the team’s vessel and robotic operations.
Soft Robotics Speed Challenge
At the 2017 ICRA Soft Robotics Challenge, WPI's soft robotic salamander finished the course in under 1 minute -- the second fastest team took over 12 minutes to complete.
Undergraduate Project: SmallKat v2
With the undergraduate robotics lab facilities available at WPI, students Keion Bisland and Xavier Little designed, printed and assembled the quadruped "SmallKat" in a 7-week independent study project. They used new robotics development environment BowlerStudio to animate and control SmallKat.
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.
Under Emerging Tech, Digital Trends interviewed Craig Putnam, associate director of robotics engineering, about the student-led project that is developing the autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone. The goal is to find and safely destroy hidden munitions that kill or maim as many as 20,000 people around the world each year. Putnam told Digital Trends, “the goal was to come up with a system that was as low cost as reasonably possible so that it could be afforded by some remote village that has a problem with land mines in the area.”
Robotics Business Review published an extensive story with photos of last week’s Robotics Engineering Research Symposium at WPI. The story includes comments from WPI President Laurie Leshin and WPI alumnus Mathew DeDonato ’09, who is now a manager in the vehicle hardware group at Toyota Research Institute. President Leshin called WPI’s robotics program “an incredible model for higher education.”
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.
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.