shepherd labs

“Robotics research is important in so many areas of our lives, including health care, agriculture, the environment, and the automotive industry. We are working to make Minnesota a leader in robotics education, research and innovation—bringing even more federal and industry research funding into the state”

- Director, Minnesota Robotics Institute

Minnesota, at the heart of a growing robotics industry

Aerial view of Minneapolis, taken from the Twin Cities campus (East Bank)

Recent developments in theory, hardware, and software have enabled the execution of the challenging tasks in robotics, automation, computer vision, and computational intelligence. Examples include performing complex surgical tasks remotely, creating competitive manufacturing processes, controlling autonomous cars and providing care for the elderly. Minnesota is at the frontier of these challenges with global players such as 3M, Medtronic, Mayo, Honeywell, and Cargill looking for creative ideas and human talent. New materials, localization and planning algorithms, embedded systems, high frequency analog/digital circuit design, miniature sensors, sensor networks, micromechanical hardware, big data manipulation, medical surgical systems, wireless systems, distributed systems, networking, and intelligent systems create unique opportunities.

MnRI, in the heart of cutting-edge robotics facility

The new state-of-the-art robotics research labs within the newly renovated first and second floors of Shepherd Laboratories ensures that MNRI personnel will be provided with the best facilities and more cutting edge tech.

The 20,000-square-foot renovation includes nine flexible robotics labs and various work spaces for robotics faculty and graduate students—including a two-story drone lab to accommodate research on flying robots and labs that will provide space for research on underwater and ground robots. In addition to the robotics labs, the renovation will include about 1,000 square feet of workshop space for the University’s Solar Vehicle Project Team, including an electronics lab, solar array lab, and assembly room as they build their solar car.

The people, at the heart of MnRI

Photo of Shepherd labs

MnRI connects faculty from across the College of Science and Engineering, industry professionals in Minnesota, the next generation of bright minds and many more—our goal is to facilitate robotics education and innovation through these connections.

There continues many ways in which robotics are explored, in one capacity or another, and the Minnesota Robotics Institute aims to centralize robotics, to facilitate collaboration. At the heart of MnRI consists a core of people that push our mission forward—from the most senior faculty to the newest student, promoting every member and the collaboration between them remains MnRI's mission.

You can view the researchers at the heart of the Minnesota Robotics Institute on the Faculty page or read more about MnRI's differed and determined approach to education on the Students page.