Ipek Bakir, Consultant & Researcher, Cost-Benefit & Effectiveness Studies of Education
Robotics as a major requires an excellent foundation of natural sciences, which is why it is relatively more difficulty to come across in the undergraduate level. Not too long ago, in 2009, Worcester Polytechnic was the first to offer robotics as a major for undergraduates. However, colleges/universities offering robotics program at undergraduate level are growing in number.
A few questions to ask while choosing between schools that offer robust robotics programs:
- Does the program have its own laboratory/division dedicated to the discipline or does it function as a part of another department?
- Does the school offer a multi-disciplinary or a more focused approach to the topic of robotics?
- Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute has been established in 1979 and offers a wide array of focuses for undergraduate students.
- Georgia Institute of Technology has several divisions dedicated to robotics: The Mobile Robot Laboratory, The Health Care Robotics Laboratory and The Center for Music Technology—all with different and more specific applications of robotics.
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)’s Robotics Engineering program, being the pioneer at offering a bachelor in robotics offers a extremely multi-disciplinary approach to the topic.
- University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab (The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception) is another school that offers and excellent robotics program that combines several disciplines, from computer science to mechanical and electrical engineering.
There are a number of other schools such as MIT, UC Berkeley and Columbia University that offer outstanding robotics programs. Researching each laboratory’s past projects is also a good way to make an informed decision about which offering may be the best fit for me.
Hope this was helpful!