Exploring the present and future of mobility in robotics.
Robots that can move will play an increasing role in the world. The way robots move plays a central role in defining their capabilities and functions. We would like to re-imagine mobility in robotics and change that way we traditionally think of mobile robots. Robotics @ Berkeley’s Spring 2019 program will be focused on designing, building and programming robots that move in creative and innovative ways.
Each team will be provided a grant of $250, access to the R@B Parts Library and mentorship from experienced members. We welcome members with a diversity of previous making backgrounds - from people new to robotics to those who have created many projects before. Teams have the flexibility to focus more on the mechanical aspects of the bots (from bio-inspired design, quadruple legged robots) or the software and controls aspect of the bots (autonomous navigation, learning to walk, efficient movement). Teams can build robots that can climb stairs, move over rubble, jump over obstacles and stabilize themselves when pushed or can also focus on the software aspects: using ML and computer vision to navigate a small car autonomously, developing the controls of a spider bot, using reinforcement learning so a robot learns to walk by itself. The possibilities for creativity and learning are endless. While the robots would need to have a purpose, the focus of the program would be on exploring creative ways of being mobile. Teams would explore and experiment with different ideas of how robots can move.
Towards the end of the semester, teams will present the robots that they built and programmed and share the reasons for their design choices and the impact it has on the robots’ functions.
Do I need to have robotics experience to participate?
Experience is useful but not required. Our series of workshops and work sessions are designed so that participants with little or no robotics experience can learn the skills necessary to meaningfully contribute to their project. It is more important that each team is balanced with at least one member who is comfortable in each of these domain areas: mechanical design, electronics, and coding.
What can I build?
Your team may build an application/device that best addresses the theme. You may build anything so long as it is legal, is within budget, and falls within the domain of automation technology.
Why can't I access the interest form?
The form can only be accessed using berkeley.edu accounts. If you do not have a Berkeley account, you cannot access the application. Contact us if you are a Berkeley student and have difficulty accessing the form.
How do I apply to be on a project?
You can apply to participate in projects by coming to one of the R@B mixers. You must apply individually, regardless of whether you have someone in mind you'd like to work with. Each team will have its own application process.
How much will the project cost?
Thanks to our generous sponsors, these projects are funded by Robotics@Berkeley and free for participants. Each team will receive an initial $250 grant. We encourage all teams to also seek additional outside funding via donations, sponsorships, and/or crowdfunding.
Where will I get parts for my design?
Robotics@Berkeley currently has an extensive library of Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, motors, Wi-Fi modules, and other parts that participants can borrow from for the semester. We provide each team with an additional $250 to purchase more specific parts elsewhere if they need them.
How will the teams be formed?
Students must apply individually, and teams will be formed organically during the mixers after acceptances are sent out. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and join our email list for other networking opportunities!
Who can participate?
This competition is exclusively for undergraduates registered at UC Berkeley for Spring 2019 and visiting students studying at UC Berkeley in Spring 2019. We aim to accept a diverse group of students, and encourage everyone interested to apply regardless of your background.
What is the time commitment?
We expect you to spend at least 5 hours each week working on the project with your team. However, some weeks will require fewer or more hours. If you think you cannot fulfill this time commitment, these projects may not be for you.
What if I have a question not answered in the FAQ?
Email us at