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MS-RT Curriculum
  • Curriculum Overview
  • Introduction:
  • The Master of Science in Robotics Technology is a global robotics education initiative of the Robotics Institute, an academic department in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science. The MS-RT program includes university, industrial, and government partnerships in Asia, Europe, Latin American, the Caribbean, Africa, and North America. Students spend one academic year at a partner institution and one academic year at CMU. In most partnerships the students receive both the MS-RT degree from CMU and a second masters degree from the partner institution. The MS-RT initiative provides world-class robotics education complemented by practical training in real-world application sites worldwide. Our spectrum of partnerships reflects the diversity, competitiveness, and net-centric character of today’s global economy. We approach strategic industrial and critical social and economic development opportunities through human-needs-centered robotics and mechatronics. The program’s collaborative teaching, research project experience, and problem-solving approaches all aim at returning its graduates to their home countries as ethical leaders and entrepreneurs who will dedicate themselves to job creation and sustainable social and economic development through robotics technology.

  • Global Experience:
  • The MS-RT First Year Program is currently in place in China (Nanjing) and the United Kingdom (Plymouth); discussions are underway with potential partners elsewhere worldwide.
  • MS-RT students develop global leadership skills and technology application skills. Students study the foundations of robotics with both CMU distance courseware, on-site instruction with local faculty, and interactions with local industry. Through hands-on application of course work and project design students synthesize learning and practice problem-solving demonstrated by technology leaders. Building upon coursework, students work with global education partner faculty to identify project opportunities with local industry. A real-world project with a local industrial partner is a core program requirement. Problems and opportunities identified here will be the basis for the extensive project work and a platform for studying the technology development process throughout the program.
  • Extended Project Course Sequence: the MS-RT Practicum (Degree Requirement)
  • The signature component of the MS-RT Program is the EPCS: a practical professional-program alternative to the traditional academic-program thesis which systematically spans MS-RT Year-One and Year-Two curriculum plus the summer in between. EPCS is a structured and mentored classroom, laboratory, and industry experience wherein students learn project identification, design, execution, analysis, and presentation methods in the context of applied robotics and automation. This in-context real-world experience is designed to give MS-RT graduates the competitive edge they will need when, in their future entrepreneurial careers, they are called upon to reduce basic academic innovations to applied practical realizations as systems and products.
  • The EPCS includes a required summer practicum between the MS-RT Year-One and Year-Two Programs. The practicum is the important execution and data collection phase of the EPCS. The EPCS practicum is a required component of the MS-RT program. Year-One MS-RT students work with local faculty to plan and prepare for the summer practicum. The practicum location may be an industrial location or applied research laboratory in (1) the student’s home country, (2) in the country where the MS-RT Year-One program was completed, or (3) a third country location.
  • CMU Robotics Network:
  • Students, after successfully completing the MS-RT First Year Program and with demonstrated progress on the project identification and design, begin the MSRT Second Year Program at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute Pittsburgh, PA campus. Selected courses provide a vehicle to deepen technical knowledge and expertise. Coursework covers advanced mechanics, computer vision, and mobile robot design, programming, and development. Students benefit from close mentoring of the project and application/ implementation plan. Close collaboration with the project partners continue. Weekly Robotics Institute seminar speakers introduce students to pioneering work in robotics while CMU lectures provide additional expose to management, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  • MS-RT Student Profile
  • Successful MS-RT candidates are motivated, intelligent, and driven to apply technology to local and global business and development opportunities and challenges. MS-RT program eligibility is not restricted to specific undergraduate majors, nor are applicants required to have prior robotics experience. We look for applicants with unique individual strengths, and we give significant weight to work experience in all related technical disciplines. The program is appropriate for students with backgrounds in an engineering or science discipline and practical abilities in computer systems and software engineering. Classroom training is reinforced by an extensive supervised practicum designed to expose the students to research laboratory and industrial environments.
  • Structure of the MS-RT Program with Partner in Nanjing, China
  • MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM MATRIX
    Timing Course 1 Course 2 Hands-On
    YEAR 1
    (at partner site)
    FALL
    Or1
    (1 week)
    Partner Site Incoming Student Orientation
    (delivered by partner university and CMU)
    Y1F.1
    (1 sem.)
    Fundamentals of Robotics I (delivered by partner faculty using RI Courseware & examined by CMU*) 12 CMU Units Fundamentals of Robotics II (delivered by partner faculty using RI Courseware & examined by CMU*) 12 CMU Units Extended Project Course Sequence (EPCS1: Prepare) (delivered by partner faculty with guidance by CMU) 0-3 CMU Units
    MS-RT Global Robotics Dialogue (GRD1) (delivered by CMU with participation at all sites) 0-3 CMU Units
    MS-RT Professional Development Webinars (PD1)(delivered by CMU) 0-3 CMU Units
    Y1F.2
    (1 sem.)
    Partner Site Electives and Core Courses (delivered by partner university)
    Y1F.3
    (3 days)
    Oral Examination, Progress Presentation, and Extended Project Status Review & Pre-Proposal (delivered by CMU)
    SPRING
    Y1S.4
    (1 sem.)
    Fundamentals of Robotics III (delivered by partner faculty using RI Courseware & examined by CMU*) 12 CMU Units Fundamentals of Robotics IV (delivered by partner faculty using RI Courseware & examined by CMU*) 12 CMU Units Extended Project Course Sequence (EPCS2: Plan) (delivered by partner faculty with guidance by CMU) 0-3 CMU Units
    MS-RT Global Robotics Dialogue (GRD2) (delivered by CMU with participation at all sites) 0-3 CMU Units
    MS-RT Professional Development Webinars (PD2)(delivered by CMU) 0-3 CMU Units
    Y1S.5
    (1 sem.)
    Partner Site Electives and Core Courses (delivered by partner university)
    Y1S.6
    (3 days)
    Transition Examination: Oral Examination, Presentation, Extended Project Proposal, Immigration Documentation Review (delivered by CMU and Partner University)
    SUMMER S1 (8 weeks) Extended Project Course Sequence Data Gathering (EPCS3: Implement) Degree Requirement (arranged by partner university)
    YEAR 2
    (at Carnegie Mellon)
    FALL
    Or2
    (1 week)
    CMU / SCS / RI / MS-RT Incoming Student Orientation (delivered by CMU)
    Y2F.1
    (1 sem.)
    RI Course I
    12 CMU Units
    (delivered by CMU)
    RI Course II
    12 CMU Units
    (delivered by CMU)
    Extended Project Course Sequence (EPCS4: Analyze) 15 CMU Units (delivered by CMU)
    MS-RT Global Robotics Dialogue (GRD3) (delivered by CMU with participation at all sites) 0-3 CMU Units
    MS-RT Professional Development (PD3) (delivered by CMU) 0-3 CMU Units
    Y2F.2 Extended Project Progress Review and Feedback (delivered by CMU)
    SPRING
    Y2S.3
    (1 sem.)
    RI Course III 12 CMU Units (delivered by CMU) RI Course IV 12 CMU Units (delivered by CMU) Extended Project Course Sequence (EPCS5: Present) 15 CMU Units (delivered by CMU)
    MS-RT Global Robotics Dialogue (GRD4)(delivered by CMU) 0-3 CMU Units
    MS-RT Professional Development (PD4) (delivered by CMU) 0-3 CMU Units
    Y2S.4
    (1 day)
    Final MS-RT Extended Project Presentation and Report
    (Writing and Speaking Qualifiers) (delivered by CMU)
    Y2S.5 CMU SCS Graduation
    Y2S.6 Partner Site Graduation (Where Applicable)

  • The two-year program comprises two one-year phases, each starting in the Fall. First year studies are at the partner's campus via distance education materials provided by the Robotics Institute and delivered by the partner's faculty. Successful students transition to Carnegie Mellon's main campus to complete a second year of classes and an extensive research project. After graduation, students are eligible to pursue additional practical training in the US before returning to their home countries. Typically the additional training is provided by internship with a company in the US who plans to employ the student at an overseas division in the student's home country.
  • First Year of Study (at educational partner campus location)
    • Complete the four Robotics Institute core (fundamentals of robotics) courses via distance education
    • Complete electives in Software Engineering / Information Technology
    • Participate in practical robotics applications in campus labs
    • Gain real-world robotics experience developing applications for local companies

    Meet with RI faculty advisor to assess progress and formulate an individual program of elective courses, practical training, and additional instruction

  • Typical robotics core (fundamentals of robotics) courses cover the following topics; introduction to robotics, sensing and sensors, computer and remote vision, and artificial intelligence. The first year of study also includes a concurrent Project Report on a sustainable-development project of choice.

  • Second Year of Study (at Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Upon certification of readiness by the partner institution's faculty, an RI faculty member administers individual oral examinations in the core subjects. Students who pass the examinations are invited to apply to complete the program at Carnegie Mellon. The application includes a statement-of-purpose in which the student is expected to elucidate his or her personal goals, the needs of his or her home country or region, and the how the connection between them will be facilitated by the student completing the program. Admitted students are invited to join the graduate student body at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • In their year at the main campus the students complete elective coursework and a research project. The class works as a team to assess home country or region technology-based industries and develop employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Their education and specialized training makes them attractive employment candidates in robotics and automation industries and R&D institutes, as well as in allied areas of computer science and engineering, software engineering, and information technology.
  • Typical Elective Courses (at Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh Campus)
  • Previous Projects (in Robotics Institute Research Laboratories)
    • Path Planning and Optimization
    • Multi-modal Data Acquisition and Sensor Fusion
    • Wide Baseline Stereo Matching
    • Registration of Range and Video Images
    • Physiological Monitoring to Assess Operator Alertness
    • Design and Assessment of a Single-Lens Stereo Vision System
    • Control by Visual Servoing
    • Robot Localization by Monitoring Wireless Access Points