Hampton, Virginia (WAVY) – The University of Hampton and Amazon Robotics are collaborating to create a robotics degree program.
“We are very grateful to Amazon Robotics for investing in the University of Hampton and its students for this project that will enable and develop the next generation of diverse STEM scientists,” said William R. Harvey, President of Hampton University. “Amazon Robotics recognizes the stellar talent of Hampton University faculty, staff and students to launch this program. I look forward to what innovations will flourish from this cutting-edge partnership. ”
The program will create an undergraduate curriculum that will lead to both advanced robotics degrees and a career in robotics in the industry.
Under the agreement, Amazon will fund a new research lab, a one-year faculty position, a senior course and an expansion of K-12 programming.
Part of this K-12 funding will go to the annual drone camp to encourage high-serving, middle-class undergraduate students to earn degrees in STEM and robotics.
“This will not only build the infrastructure inside the school, but also provide funding for Hampton to reach out to the community,” says Ty Brady, chief technologist at Amazon Robotics. “This will allow Hampton to share his excitement about robotics and his passion for engineering with those who may not have encountered it yet.”
Officials say the new partnership will complement the existing IT partnership. Hampton students will also receive free AWS credits, which will allow them to use AWS tools and computing power for robotics projects.
“Several years ago, we participated in a robotics initiative with a number of HBCUs to engage our students in computer science by introducing them to robotics,” explained Gene Muhammad, Chair of the Hampton Department of Computer Science. “It was a great project that perished and it included a robotics course that the students really enjoyed. So we’re excited to add robotics back. We are also very excited to be more active in AI and machine learning. Quite a few of us have experience with AI, but we haven’t had that much experience in machine learning. I see this as a way not only to return to the space of robotics, but also for our teachers – and then students – to build capacity in those other areas that are all linked together. Our faculty is also very excited about this. ”
In the future, they hope to create a master’s degree in robotics.