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UMaine Introducing Minor in Robotics Engineering

Contact: Dana Humphrey, 581-2216, Mohsen Shahinpoor, 581-2243,

ORONO — The University of Maine’s College of Engineering has increased its number of courses in robotics engineering to more than a dozen and has created a minor in the field, which will be available to students in the fall of 2010.

The expended program is a response to the rapidly growing robotics industry, according to Chet Rock, associate dean of the College of Engineering.

“Mechanical and electrical engineering has offered a robotics class and students who took it wanted more, and we see robots becoming more prevalent every day,” Rock says.

College Dean Dana Humphrey says the future will increasingly rely on robotics in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and medicine, aeronautics, and for working in hazardous environments.

The minor is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of robotic operation and preliminary training in design and use of robots, according to Mohsen Shahinpoor, chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, and Mohamad Musavi, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Students will have access to classes in mobile walking robots, robotic vision, robotic surgery, surgical micro-robotics and robot statics, kinematics, dynamics and control.

Mechanical engineering major Justin Whitney calls the new minor an “exciting” blend of engineering specialization that will offer new opportunities and applications. The robotics minor involves mechanical, electrical and computer engineering fields.

“From my previous internship experience, projects seldom require the knowledge of a single engineering discipline, Whitney says. “The robotics minor covers several fields and will allow me to become a better-educated and more attractive candidate for future employment.”

The University of Maine, founded in 1865, is the state’s premier public university, located in the town of Orono. It is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from across the U.S. and more than 60 countries. It currently enrolls 12,000 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. Students are offered 88 bachelor’s degree programs, 64 master’s degree programs, 25 doctoral programs and one of the oldest and most prestigious honors programs in the U.S. The university promotes environmental stewardship on its campus, with substantial efforts aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction. For more information about the University of Maine visit http://www.umaine.edu

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