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  • School of Engineering

    • Kirkbride Hall
    • tel: 610-499-4037
    • fax: 610-499-4059
  • Nora Kogut


Curriculum, Robotics Engineering


Widener’s robotics engineering program provides a broad-based education in a supportive environment that encourages inquisitive, analytical, and creative thinking, and exposes students to real-world practical aspects of the engineering profession.

Students enjoy easy access to modern, well-equipped laboratories and computer facilities. By participating in multiple lab courses and team-based projects as part of their curriculum, and through undergraduate research opportunities, students practice what they learn in this exciting field where engineering meets automation.

Robotics Courses

Here is a selection of courses students typically take as a robotics engineering major.

RE 101 Introduction to Microcontroller in Robotic Systems

Students are introduced to the basic principles of microcontrollers through a hands-on robotic laboratory experience. The course covers building a robotic device, programming the embedded microcontroller in a high-level language, and testing the completed design to meet certain specifications.

RE 301 Mechanics of Robotics Systems

Theory and application of mathematical models to analyze, design, and control serial kinematic chains (serial manipulators). Covers the forward and inverse kinematics, the manipulator Jacobian, trajectory planning, design, dynamics including Newton-Euler and Lagrangian methods and control.

RE 302 Signal Analysis in Robotic Systems

This course focuses on the representation, design, and analysis of continuous and discrete time signals in robotic systems. Topics include linear systems, frequency response, convolution, Laplace transforms, Fourier series, Fourier transforms, Nyquist sampling theorem, z transform, and linear filters.

RE 303 Machine Design for Robotics Systems

Introduction to the design of mechanical elements and systems subjected to both steady and variable loading conditions. Consideration of failure criteria, material use, economics, reliability, codes and standards. Projects to design components and assemblages of robotic mechanical systems to given criteria by synthesis and analysis.

RE 304 Object-oriented Programming for Robotics Applications

This course provides an introduction to C++ programming and the concepts of object-oriented design, including functions, arrays, pointers, strings, classes, inheritance, abstract data types, encapsulation, member access control, constructors, and destructors, operator overloading, virtual functions, polymorphisms, I/O streams, templates, and exception handling.

RE 401 Robotics and Mechatronics Lab

Laboratory illustrating topics covered in courses RE301 (Mechanics of Robotic Systems) and RE 402 (Introduction to Mechatronics). Lab sessions allow for constructing robotics and mechatronic systems that integrate mechanical, computer, and electronic components. Includes a comprehensive design project.

RE 402 Introduction to Mechatronics

Design, modeling, and simulation of electromechanical systems with computational elements that are designed to achieve behavioral response goals. Course topics include models and computer simulation of mechanical and electromechanical system elements, sensors, signal processing, embedded computers, control algorithms, computer interfacing, actuators, and system performance evaluation. The course includes a number of workshops during which students are guided through applications of the lecture topics.

RE 403 Control of Robotics Systems

Methods of controlling a serial manipulator to track a desired position using linear and nonlinear control methods. Analysis and design of continuous linear feedback control systems. Active force control and hybrid position/force control with a robot.

RE 404 Professional Seminar

Presentation and discussion of current engineering problems and solutions. This seminar familiarizes engineering students with professional ethical issues using case studies. The students will be able to analyze, reflect on, and act to resolve ethical issues arising from engineering decisions in accordance with the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics for Engineers.

ENGR 401, 402 Senior Project I, II

A capstone experience in which the student undertakes an engineering project incorporating standards and realistic constraints that include the following considerations: economic; environmental; sustainability; manufacturability; constructability; ethical; health and safety; social; and political. These projects involve creative conception, design, development, construction, and evaluation. Students work in small groups under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Progress reports are required in both semesters. A formal written report and an oral presentation are also required at the conclusion of the project.

Technical Electives

  • Senior robotics engineering courses
  • Senior or junior level engineering courses from other engineering majors approved by the instructor and the faculty advisor

BME 448 Biomedical Devices
EE 476 Introduction to Image Processing
ME 474 Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
ME 477 Introduction to Composite Materials

  • Computer science courses approved by the instructor and the faculty advisor


For more information about courses and requirements for robotics engineering, see our course catalog.