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The IEEE Robotics & Automation Society focuses on reaching future generations beginning at the university level through our Student Branch Chapters and Student Activities Committee.

However, there are often inquires as to how to empower even younger generations with an early look at the robotics and automation field.  If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please see the following suggestions.

To become a “robotics engineer," the usual approach is to major in one of the related engineering programs at a university.  These are electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science and engineering.

 To prepare for an engineering major in college, a high school student should take courses in physics, chemistry, and calculus.

Students who major in electrical and computer engineering can take basic and elective courses in systems and control, microprocessor-based design, computer programming, image processing, and computer vision, as well as robotics courses.  Courses in other majors include mechanical design and control, modeling and simulation, and artificial intelligence.

Some community colleges in the US offer associates degree programs in automation and robotics for those who are more interested in technology programs with less emphasis on advanced mathematics and physics.

In many states of the US and other countries, high school students can get involved in robot competitions such as the FIRST Robotics program (

For resources closer to you, please contact an RAS Chapter or Student Branch Chapter.

Museum Project

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere hosting over 1 million visitors each year, is creating an exciting new exhibit called Robot Revolution. After its run in Chicago in 2014, Robot Revolution will travel to other sites in the US and internationally.

The Robotics and Automation Society is partnering with MSI to ensure that the latest innovations in robotics are represented at the exhibit. MSI, working with RAS, has selected a "robotics experts" panel of volunteers from the RAS community to provide advice on the development of the exhibit. RAS is further supporting this outreach effort through a $14,400 grant to MSI funding travel and expenses of the volunteer panel. IEEE members participating on the experts panel include Cynthia Breazeal, Raff D'Andrea, Dennis Hong, Henrik Christensen, and Kevin Lynch.

Technical Education Program - Summer Schools

Each year, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society offers financial support for three Technical Education Programs (RAS-TEP), formerly Summer Schools. In efforts to bring RAS closer to its membership, these programs rotate though the Americas, Europe and Asia and Pacific.

The RAS-TEP program is jointly run by the Member Activities Board (MAB) and the Technical Activities Board (TAB). The program is intended to sponsor or co-sponsor up to three summer schools per year around the world. One of the three summer schools will be fully sponsored by RAS to a level of $40,000, and it will rotate annually through RAS' three geographical regions in a round robin fashion. The other two summer schools will be cosponsored with interested organizations in the other two geographical regions up to a level of $20,000 each.

The review of summer school proposals is based on assessments from two different viewpoints, the first one with respect to the general structure, including organizational matters and budget, and the second one with respect to the technical content:

The Education Committee will check the general organizational structure of the summer school, including budget aspects and guide through the general application process.

Suited Technical Committees (TCs) of the RAS have to endorse the proposal. Current TCs are listed at:

Techncial Education Program on-line proposal form

For complete details on proposing a RAS-TEP, visit the Society Resource Center. 

Deadlines for the submission of 2015 proposals:

  • Deadline: 1 April 2014
  • Decision: ICRA 2014
  • Full sponsorship ($40,000) is available for for Area 2 (Europe, Africa, Middle East)

Robotics History Project

Visit the Robotics History Project

In the 50 years since George Devol and Joe Engelberger put the first robot on the factory floor of General Motors in 1961, robots have found their way into surgery rooms, scientific laboratories, battlefields, search and rescue situations, Mars, and even our homes as vacuum cleaners, toys, and security guards. Today, governments, corporations, and scientists envision robotics as a major component of technological, economic, and social development in the 21st century. Rodney Brooks suggests that a "robotics revolution" is imminent, while Bill Gates predicts that we will soon have "robots in every home." The Japanese government, in the meantime, is supporting the development of "partner robots" as a key growth industry.

In recognition of the technological advances and increasing social relevance of robotics, we are examining how the field has developed so far. We aim to develop an understanding of the development of robotics as a field of scientific study and technological practice that takes into account both individual experiences and broader system dynamics that have shaped the field. We use interviews, online surveys, and documents produced in the field to identify the individuals, institutions, events, and ideas that have significantly influenced the developmental trajectory of robotics and to better understand how the scientific goals and practices and societal applications and perceptions of robotics have changed through the years.

As writing a history of robotics is a very large project, our immediate goal is to take the initial steps in instigating academic discussion of the history of robotics, develop a framework for collecting video, audio, photographic, and archival data on the subject, and bringing it to the awareness of the public via an online archive. The 50-year anniversary of the application of robotics in society is an opportune moment to call attention to robotics as an important subject within the history of computing, as well as to make sure that information about the first half century of the field is not lost.