The need for robotics stems from the different types of challenges posed: in industry (automation, production methods, processing etc), in society (safety, energy savings, exploration, breakthroughs, medicine etc), and by individuals (well-being, care professions, games and entertainment etc.)

In the context of international competition, the industrial sector must advance its manufacturing and processing methods. Robotics has already replaced human labour in certain sectors on repetitive and tedious tasks in order to improve production efficiency. It has also introduced more flexibility and adaptability according to production needs. Today, we need robots to work collaboratively with humans (cobot concept) which implies autonomous robots capable of perceiving, understanding and adapting to their environment.

Society is trying to improve quality of life by introducing more and more goods and services that rely on robotic technologies. A good example is the intelligent vehicle, equipped with more and more automated functions (CC, ACC, ABS, satellite navigation, assisted parking and soon driverless vehicles). New concepts lead to the development of new services such as car sharing and intelligent transportation systems.

Major research and economic development programmes are underway worldwide, in Asia (Japan, Korea, Taiwan), in the USA and in Europe. In France, the development of robotics and autonomous intelligent vehicles is one of the national industrial priorities.

The aim of this specialisation is to master robotics technologies pertaining to the design, programming and development of new robots, and to the implementation and use of robotic and autonomous systems.

Across all industrial sectors, sensors and sensor arrays generate signals that need to be modelled, analysed and characterised in order to provide a relevant representation of the information they contain. This information is then used to design decision-support software or hardware. Given the diversity of measuring techniques and ever-expanding computer processing capabilities, expertise in modern tools for modelling and processing signals and images, and in techniques to integrate algorithms into software and hardware platforms, constitutes a major asset for an engineer.

Contribution to sustainable development goals

Learn more about Centrale Nantes' commitment to the 17 sustainable development goals

International students can follow this specialisation, taught in French, via:

  • A double degree programme - Open to international students selected by our partner institutions. Selected students spend two years studying courses from the engineering programme at Centrale Nantes. This usually includes one year of the common-core engineering curriculum followed by one year of specialisation. Double degree students are typically accepted after successfully completing two or three years of higher education in their home institution.
  • The fast-track engineering programme: Open to students with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in science. Our fast-track programme gives international students who are qualified to bachelor level the opportunity to gain the 'diplôme d'ingénieur' in just two years.
Course Content
2023/24 academic year
Autumn Semester Spring Semester
Non-linear control and observation Robot control
Manipulator robot modelling Integration
Advanced programming Planification
Vision for robotics Non conventional robots
Middleware Project 2
Robot design Internship
Modelling and control of unmanned systems (aerial/submarine)
Intelligent vehicles and transport
Project 1

Download syllabus

Examples of projects and internships

Examples of past projects

  • Dynamic simulation and control of submarines equipped with steerable thrusters
  • Multi-robot locating system.
  • ”Barman” Robot: Use the Baxter robot to serve drinks, as a demo.
  • Pioneer P3-AT Robot: Follow a predefined path.
  • ROS: piloting laws for parrot drones

Examples of past internships

  • Development, optimization and security of robotic applications at the Nantes plant (Airbus SAS Operations)
  • Vision-guided navigation in dynamic environments (LAAS-Toulouse)
  • Definition and development of a library for innovative industrial robots (Sitia)
  • Strategies for moving a mobile robot in a constrained space (Stanley Robotics)
  • Correlation studies between flight trajectories and sensor errors of an inertial sensor unit (French Ministry of Defence)
After the specialisation

Industry sectors

  • Transport (automotive, aerospace, aeronautics, shipping)
  • Food processing, agriculture
  • Healthcare
  • Arts and culture
In addition to the sectors traditionally open to robotics engineers, this specialisation offers opportunities in the growing sectors of autonomous driving, aeronautics and medical robotics.

Career prospects

  • R&D engineer
  • Production engineer
  • Operations engineer

Published on November 2, 2015 Updated on January 31, 2024