The Best College Robotics Programs In The Country
Those looking to get in on the robotics game have a number of choices in where they might go to learn about robo-topics like mobility, manipulation, and artificial intelligence.
A number of top-notch universities around the country (as well as some less-than-obvious names) offer robotics education programs befitting plenty of people looking to build the next great robot.
Whether you want to build a better Roomba or a new best friend, here are ten colleges that will give you the tools you need.
The Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab at UC Berkeley has an entire department devoted to replicating animal movement for the sake of improving robotic mobility. The school's Laboratory for Automation Science and Engineering gets into more general robotics work, designing solutions for things like robot-assisted surgery and automated manufacturing. There's even an entire Computer Vision Group so that students might learn how to help robots make sense of what they "see."
It's an incredibly robust college for robotics that will likely meet your interests no matter what they are.
Johns Hopkins University
The goal of the Johns Hopkins University's Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robots (a not-for-profit division of the school) is straightforward: to "create knowledge and foster innovation to further the field of robotics science and engineering."
This is accomplished by exposing students to a wide variety of robotics topics. Consider its LIMBS Laboratory, which examines the principles of sensory guidance in animals and sees how they might be applied to robots. Consider its Computational Interaction and Robotics Laboratory, which examines the many hard problems encountered in human-robot interaction and robotic spatial awareness.
Check out this fact sheet on the school's robotics facilities. You can tell they're taking this stuff seriously.
Colorado School Of Mines
Mining is an incredibly complex pursuit, and robots can step in to do dangerous work to save lives. Someone needs to build them, and the Colorado School of Mines has its Center for Automation, Robotics, and Distributed Intelligence (CARDI) to equip people with the tools to do so.
Because it's a mining-centric school, curriculum runs the gamut from communication protocols to environmental considerations. CARDI students meet once a month over lunch to keep each other apprised of their research — one person will give a presentation on what they're up to, and the meetings frequently feature a guest to speak on topics relevant to the industry.
If you want to check out a cool project to come out of the school, we recommend "Intelligent Geosystems."
Since its founding in 1962, Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has been facilitating robotics education for 52 years. Students gather for weekly reading groups to dissect robotics papers and discuss the latest developments in their fields.
Its faculty's list of interests is loaded with fun robo-buzzwords: informatics, logic, machine learning, natural language processing, and so on.