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Robotics Engineering Technology

Purdue University in West Lafayette

Industries are learning the expanding abilities and opportunities for robots across industries, ranging from industrial to health care. Robots help people and companies maintain safe working environments while being more productive. Combine your interests and talents in mechanical design, manufacturing, computing and electrical engineering to find even more uses for robotics.

When you major in robotics engineering technology, you will develop and apply robotic solutions to a broad range of industrial and consumer problems. 

The Purdue Polytechnic Institute is one of 10 academic colleges at Purdue University. The Polytechnic specializes in team-based labs where you’ll test ideas, take things apart and put them back together — only better. You’ll learn side-by-side with professors who have worked in the industry and thrive on combining theory, imagination and real-world application. In this innovative environment, you'll learn by doing - gaining deep technical knowledge and applied skills in your chosen discipline coupled with problem-solving, critical-thinking, communication and leadership skills employers desire.

Graduate student wins Amazon Research Award in robotics

Richard Voyles, professor of robotics engineering technology

Mythra Balakuntala, a graduate research assistant in Purdue Polytechnic’s Collaborative Robotics Lab, has been working on making robots easier to program for everyday working people, either on the manufacturing floor or helping out around the home of an elderly person. Balakuntala works in the field of programming robots by human demonstration that is very similar to how humans learn from each other — they watch an “expert” do something and then try to do it.

Balakuntala’s particular expertise has been the use of artificial intelligence and “reinforcement learning” to improve performance of a task by practice. Richard Voyles, the Daniel C. Lewis Professor in Purdue Polytechnic and Balakuntala’s doctoral advisor, has been encouraging him to incorporate coaching actions by a human watching the practice to learn from the coach.

When Balakuntala found an announcement from Amazon Research Awards last year, he asked Voyles if he could try writing a proposal on programming by demonstration with coaching.

“I thought it would be a great professional development experience for him, as many PhD students go on to be faculty and researchers in corporate research and development labs,“ said Voyles. “I gave him some advice, but Mythra conceived the primary ideas and organized other students to help with the writing and editing. He got awarded on his first try! We got word that it was going to be funded in the spring and they just held a research conference last week, announcing all the awards to fellow researchers.”

Balakuntala won the Amazon Research Award in robotics, which has a value of $100,000 in cash and data services.

“Most faculty don't have a first award that large,” added Voyles.

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Plan of Study

Robotics Engineering Technology
Robotics Engineering Technology Webpage

Transfer to Robotics Engineering Technology

Purdue admits to individual majors. Transfer students must meet Purdue's overall transfer criteria, as well as any major-specific requirements. Before you apply, check the closed programs page to confirm this major is open to transfer students. If it is, refer to the information below for major-specific transfer criteria.

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Contact Information

Tami Lynch
(765) 494-8590

Purdue Polytechnic Institute

Careers in Robotics Engineering Technology

  •   Robotics engineer
  •   Robotics automation software engineer
  •   Product development engineer

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