February 1, 2008 With the global robotics market expected to significantly expand over the next five years, including gains in both the service and personal robotics fields, the College of Computing at Georgia Tech has announced that it will now offer the first interdisciplinary doctoral degree in robotics in the US.

Commencing in fall semester this year, the course was developed through Georgia Tech’s new Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (RIM@Georgia Tech). The multidisciplinary program draws from curricula in computer science, electrical and computer engineering, aerospace, biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering. The aim is to educate a new breed of multi-skilled researchers who will enter the market best prepared to chart a new course for robotics. Dr. Henrik Christensen, KUKA Chair of Robotics for the College of Computing at Georgia Tech said that exposing “students to course work from multiple disciplines early on prepares them to think about robotics from a holistic approach once they enter the workforce.”

With a focus on personal and everyday robotics, as well as the future of automation, faculty involved with RIM@Georgia Tech developed the doctoral degree program to best enable students to understand and drive the future role of robotics in society and industry. Approximately 15 candidates per year are expected to be admitted, gradually building the program to 60 enrolled students. Georgia Tech currently has over 30 faculty actively engaged in robotics research.

Students in the Robotics Ph.D. program must first be admitted to one of the participating academic units, subsequently designated as the student’s home unit. Students will then progress through the course requirements consisting of 36 semester hours of core research and elective courses, the passing a comprehensive qualifying exam with written and oral components, and the successful completion, documentation and defense of a piece of original research culminating in a doctoral thesis.