Robotics is poised to revolutionize work, education, and everyday life in much the same way the Internet did over past decades. Today, some of the most innovative and foundational robotics work is being done at Harvard, where engineers and computer scientists draw on Harvard’s strengths in materials, medicine, advanced manufacturing, design, and the basic sciences.

Robotics work moves beyond manufacturing and logistics operations to robots that interact with humans, are easily adaptive, and conform to unstructured environments. Harvard research groups are developing robots for a range of applications:

  • medical robots for automated and minimally invasive surgical procedures
  • autonomous search and rescue robots to assist first responders in natural or man-made disasters
  • soft wearable robots for physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • automated assembly at scales ranging from micrometer to meter
  • bioinspired robots across a range of physical scales
  • collections of over 1,000 coordinated robots
  • industrial robots for the automation of manufacturing or shipping

Roboticists at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) bring knowledge of design, materials, control, and fabrication, and benefit from the policy experts at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, close collaboration with physicians and clinicians at the Medical School, School of Public Health, and Harvard’s teaching hospitals, and partnerships with leading thinkers at Harvard Business School and the School of Design. Many SEAS researchers are also affiliated with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Research.


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