Robotics is the design, creation, analysis, and use of embodied computational systems that interact with the physical and human environment.

The study of robotics and its place in the world draws on many fields, including computer science, mechanical engineering, artificial intelligence, computer vision, electrical engineering, controls, psychology, human-robot interaction, sociology, philosophy, ethics, law, biomedical engineering, medicine, business, economics, public policy, and many others.

The University of Michigan has strong programs in all areas, and a particular strength in interdisciplinary collaboration. Of particular prominence is an unusually strong yet broad College of Engineering, with top-ranked programs in traditional areas such as Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, but also specializations such as Aerospace Engineering, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences. Robotic applications are increasingly important in all of these fields, as well as in Medicine, where the University has a world-class program. As robotic systems become integrated with society, complementary strengths in the Liberal Arts enable an integrated approach to technology and society. Moreover, the State of Michigan is historically the manufacturing center of the United States, and is reinventing itself as an entrepreneurial and manufacturing center for the 21st century.

Beginning in Fall 2014, the College of Engineering will offer an M.S. and PhD. in Robotics.

The proposed program will be part of an interdisciplinary effort to bring together the many disciplines that contribute to research on robotics. Robotics is the design, creation, analysis, and use of embodied computational systems that interact with the physical and human environment. The study of robotics and its place in the world draws on many fields of engineering, including computer science, mechanical engineering, artificial intelligence, computer vision, electrical engineering, control systems, human-robot/computer interaction, and biomedical engineering. The proposed degrees are engineering degrees that will integrate knowledge from these fields for applications to Robotics.

This program will have three main core technical areas. These three areas are integrated in order to implement a functioning robot: (l) Sensing of the environment, external agents, and internal body information to determine state information, (2) Reasoning with that information to make decisions for guidance, control, and localization, and (3) Acting upon the body and environment to produce motion or other outputs that enable the robot to locomote or interact with the environment. Each of these areas may be considered a subplan for coursework and research study. The goal of the proposed Robotics Program is to train students to be independent researchers and engineers, and future leaders in robotics research, in academia, industry and government.