Two students with outstretched arms in a research space.

Maintaining excellence

The Minnesota Robotics Institute promotes excellence in teaching in order to maintain high-quality undergraduate and graduate education. Looking to expand the program in the coming months—it starts with MnRI using robotics work and research to attract more students to the fields of science and engineering. This means recruiting more students from across gender boundaries and various social and ethnic groups.

Be sure to keep an eye out for more details regarding an expanded Minnesota Robotics Institute education program.

MnRI Robotics: Connecting research and education

Housed within the College of Science and Engineering, the Minnesota Robotics Institute connects students with robotics and sensing topics that contain real-world problems, creating an active learning process. We believe that students are able to absorb educational material better when the instructor can provide motivation through several different problems from diverse areas.

Key areas include:

1

Perception

2

Cognition

3

Robotics Control and Modeling

4

Robotics Hardware

Research Areas

Agriculture and Environmental Monitoring
Agriculture is an ideal industry for autonomous or semi-autonomous robotic systems because it involves many processes that are labor intensive, repetitive and rely on information to which computers can interpret and respond. Many opportunities to meet current needs have been identified in Minnesota's farming industry and organizations like the Corn Growers Association and Soybean Growers Association are increasingly interested in automation and the opportunities it brings for increased production, quality, and sustainability.

Manufacturing
The State of Minnesota has a long history in manufacturing, and has more than 8,300 manufacturers making a wide range of products. With 42% of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies involved in manufacturing, several diverse opportunities have been created and new efforts are surfacing every day.

Medicine
The University of Minnesota Medical School, the Mayo Clinic facilities, and the various medical devices companies within the Twin Cities area create unique opportunities in medical robotics and in applying automation to the medical domain. Medical robotics, from surgical robotics to robotics for rehabilitation, is a relatively new area that has a dramatic potential.

Outreach and Commercialization
Robotics is a word that resonates with the people of Minnesota, where youth robotics programs are continuing to increase in popularity. In fact, the state has the third largest number of FIRST Robotics teams in the United States. In addition to the research objectives, the Minnesota Robotics Institute continues to strive for educational and outreach goals, expanding robotics education within the MnRI network and beyond.

Read more about the Minnesota Robotics Institute's main research areas.