The new program will be taught primarily by teachers in other departments, at WPI, which established the country’s first bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering in 2006
As many as 30 faculty and staff will contribute time to administer and teach classes in the new program; they will come primarily the Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering departments.
The program, which requires 36 credit hours of class time plus a thesis or capstone engineering project at completion, was developed with the help of WPI’s Robotics Engineering Advisory Board.
Local or near-local companies that assisted include iRobot Corp., Bluefin Robotics, General Dynamics Robotics Systems and DEKA Research and Development Corp.
WPI also plans to launch a national university-level robotics competition this fall. The Robotics Innovations Competition and Conference, which will be held Nov. 7-8, 2009 will be open to both undergraduate and graduate-level students.
The competition will add a higher-level opportunity for robotics students than the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competition for middle- and high-school students, in which WPI has sponsored teams and events since 1992.