Robotics Schools

by John

Where are the best robotics schools for robotics engineering? What is the name of your school in Tokyo? What other schools are there?

I like your site.

Sebastien's answer

Thank you for the kind comment. I'll try to answer as well as I can.

My Graduate School

I am studying in the University of Tokyo as a Master student. The school itself is the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, and I am in the department of Mechano-Informatics.

In my lab, we work mainly on the study of human movement (motion capture, movement recognition, inverse kinematics and inverse dynamics).

We also have a group working on compliant actuators. They are making simple 2D robot arms until now, but are planning on making a whole new humanoid robot in the years to come.

Finally, we have just received the brand new HRP-4 from Kawada Industries to test control algorithms and make some demos of our other algorithms.

There are other labs here that work on human robot interaction, on new kind of humanoid robots (like Kojiro) and on ubiquitous robotic appliances (robotic rooms with sensors and robots everywhere).

Other Laboratories

There are a lot of other robotics schools in Japan (almost any Japanese University has a robotics department). A few famous universities are the University of Tokyo, Waseda University (Tokyo), Tokyo Institute of Technology and Doshisha University (Kyoto). I came to Japan with a Scholarship from the Japanese Government called Monbusho Scholarship. It pays the University and a good salary every month (good for a student). Check with your local Japanese Embassy if you are interested.

In the US, I know the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL) is one of the most famous lab. The Personal Robot Group for the MIT Media lab is also famous for the work of Cynthia Breazeal on social robots.

Also, Vijay Kumar and the GRASP Lab are very famous and always ahead of the mass. Check their impressing work on drones on Youtube to understand what I mean by impressive work.

I know CMU has great labs on robotics too, and Caltech is associated with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (the one that makes Mars Rovers), so you can check it out.

It is often hard to find the great robotics schools, or the ones that will let you work on exactly what you want (especially the websites are often labyrinthine). Do not hesitate to contact many teachers and ask them for advice and all. They may even point you to labs that will be more to your taste.

For College studies

If you don't want to go for a Master/PhD, you shouldn't look at the robotics schools. You won't learn much theory about robotics in a Bachelor.

You should look for a College with an active robotics club, where you can compete in robotics challenges like Robo-One or FIRST (if it exists for college students). I don't know much about robotics clubs, but I talked with a CEO from a small start-up who told me it looks great on a CV. It counts as real-life experience for them. It shows you are able to find real solutions and work with tight deadlines to have something that works.

For the courses, almost anything will do: mechanics, probabilities, statistics, programming, signal processing (audio, image, others). But even biology or social science have many applications in robotics today.

I hope this gives you some idea to find your own robotics schools.

Comments for Robotics Schools

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Nov 28, 2012
Robotic Competitions
by: Jason

BEST is a competition that I know of. I have competed in it for 4 years. It is challenging,fun, and a great experience. BEST stands for Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology. It helps show you what it's like to work on a project as an engineer. They provide you with a free kit. You can learn more at

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