Inside Shepherd Labs 1st floor corridor

A new type of education

The Minnesota Robotics Institute promotes robotics education and innovation through the continued work of its diverse staff and students. Connecting robotics in Minnesota, from industry professionals to the newest and brightest minds, is the Minnesota Robotics Institute's highest priority.  If you are a current or prospective student, read more about MnRI's differed and dedicated approach to education on the Students page.

Help guide the Minnesota Robotics Institute forward—keep an eye out for more material about the emerging robotics program in MnRI.

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:






Robotics Control and Modeling


Robotics Hardware

Thrust 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, repetitious and rely on information that computers can interpret and respond to. Many opportunities to meet current needs have been identified in Minnesota's farming industry and companies like the Corn and Soybean Growers Associations are increasingly interested in automation and the opportunities production, quality and sustainability.

The State of Minnesota has a long history in manufacturing, and has over 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.

The UMN Medical School, the Mayo facilities, and the various medical devices companies within the Twin Cities area create some unique opportunities in medical robotics and in general 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 name that resonates well with the people of Minnesota, where youth robotics programs are popular and rising. In fact, the state has the third largest number of FIRST Robotics teams in the U.S. In addition to the research objectives, the Minnesota Robotics Institution 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 thrust areas.