Departmental Papers (ESE)



Robotics is an emerging synthetic science concerned with programming work. Robot technologies are quickly advancing beyond the insights of the existing science. More secure intellectual foundations will be required to achieve better, more reliable and safer capabilities as their penetration into society deepens. Presently missing foundations include the identification of fundamental physical limits, the development of new dynamical systems theory and the invention of physically grounded programming languages. The new discipline needs a departmental home in the universities which it can justify both intellectually and by its capacity to attract new diverse populations inspired by the age old human fascination with robots.

For more information: Kod*lab

Sponsor Acknowledgements

The time and thought necessary to complete this article was underwritten by Office of Naval Research grant N00014-16-1-2817, awarded as a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship sponsored by the Basic Research Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

Document Type

Journal Article

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems


robotics, synthetic science, programming work, active materials, fundamental physical limits, hybrid dynamical systems theory, applied topology, applied category theory, applied type theory, academic disciplines, academic departments, social impact of technology, diversity of scientists



Date Posted: 14 April 2021