Robotics and Autonomous Systems

At the College of Engineering and Computing, our students teach robots how to move and sense their surroundings, and use teamwork to accomplish tasks. 

Making this happen requires knowledge of mechanical engineering, with the building of the body and movement; bioengineering, with vision and sensing; computer engineering and computer science for processing, control, and learning, and electrical engineering. Robots will go where people can't, inspecting bridges, venturing into faltering nuclear power plants, and exploring space. Be part of a robotics and artificial intelligence team that builds the next step in human technology.

See the university catalog for courses that students who are interested in robotics can take.


Educational Programs Related to Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Educational programs to improve robot intelligence and autonomy, especially in multi-agent systems, are one of the hallmarks of the College of Engineering and Computing. Students use computer science applications to program robots; electrical and computer engineering students use their skills to operate them, and mechanical engineers construct better and smarter robots.


Bachelor's Degrees

Bioengineering, BS

Bioengineering, also referred to as biomedical engineering, is the application of engineering tools and approaches to solve problems in biology and medicine. It is a broad and growing field that draws upon rapid advances in technology and computation, as well as on unprecedented growth in basic biological understanding.

Computer Science, BS

Computer Science is the discipline concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all other professions. Computer scientists must be well-grounded in the technologies needed for the acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form and must be capable of working closely with members of other professions associated with computing.

Electrical Engineering, BS

Electrical engineers design and build the equipment that most of us take for granted—computers, cell phones, televisions, rockets, satellites, communications and computer networks, mobile radios, environmental control systems, robots, weapons, and cars, to name a few. Electrical engineering is the foundation on which computer engineering and computer science rest. Students in this program learn the fundamentals of electrical engineering and then choose a focus in one of the major fields of electronics—communications, networks and signal processing, computer engineering, or controls and robots.

Mechanical Engineering

With its emphasis on design and advanced manufacturing as well as renewable and sustainable energy, our mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree opens access to a wide array of projects for all of our engineering students. The new program is rapidly gaining support from a large number of companies and federal laboratories located in Northern Virginia including Micron Corporation, Mitre, and Technical Data Analysis.

Master's Degrees

Computer Science, MS

The Master of Science in computer science offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas. Our faculty have expertise in many areas of computer science, including algorithms and theory, artificial intelligence, computer gaming, computer networks, databases, data mining, graphics, image and video processing, information security and assurance, information systems, knowledge engineering, pattern recognition, programming languages, real- time systems, robotics, software engineering, and vision.

Electrical Engineering, MS

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers an MS in electrical engineering with specializations in: bioengineering, communications and networking, signal processing, control and robotics, microelectronics/nanoelectronics, and system architectures. Graduate students are offered a progressive environment with ample opportunities for the type of advanced research needed to confront the complex realities of the 21st century.

Ph.D. Programs

Bioengineering, PhD

The doctoral program in bioengineering is designed to prepare future leaders in bioengineering. Rapid advances in understanding the molecular bases of disease have opened up new opportunities to advance human health through research that integrates knowledge in modern biology, engineering, physics, and computer science. The doctoral program will prepare leaders in bioengineering in this broader, integrative sense of the discipline. A major distinguishing feature of the curriculum is that it is designed to educate leaders who understand and appreciate how biomedical technology is translated from the bench to the bedside.

Computer Science, PhD

The Computer Science Department offers the PhD in computer science and participates in the PhD in Information Technology. The latter has concentrations in information systems, information security and assurance, and software engineering. Students work closely with a faculty mentor, performing original research, and tackling challenging and unsolved problems.

Electrical and Computer Engineering, PhD

The PhD program in electrical and computer engineering educates students to do original research on ECE topics and become technical leaders in their fields. Students may choose research areas such as communications, networking, computer engineering, control and robotics, signal processing, micro/nano-electronics, and bioengineering. With a strong and growing department reputation for excellence, graduates have become professors at other universities and researchers in industrial and government research centers.

Mason's Patriot Pilots take 1st place at the 3rd semi-annual Defend The Republic Competition

In November 2021, 6 teams arrived in Bloomington, Indiana to compete in the 3rd round of the ONR-hosted Defend The Republic competition. In this round of the competition, the robots had to play the vast majority of the game fully autonomously making it significantly more challenging than the previous competitions. 

 After 3 days of qualification rounds, only 3 of the 6 teams managed to qualify: NRL, Penn State/ARL, and GMU. The round-robin results from the 3 qualifying teams were as follows:

Penn State/ARL beat NRL 1-0, NRL beat GMU 1-0, and GMU beat Penn State/ARL 3-0.

This resulted in a 3-way tie that was broken by total goals scored. The next round of the competition is in April 2022 when the competition will become even more fierce! 

Interested in joining the Patriot Pilots in Spring 2022? Email to get involved!

Where Teamwork Really Counts

George Mason University has actively supported FIRST robotics competitive teams and leagues throughout the area. The program invites young students to engage with computer science and engineering in a fun and imaginative team environment.