Do you love tinkering and innovating? Have fun solving complicated problems? Are you interested in programming and mechanics? Robotics might just be the career for you!
Robotics is an invigorating and dynamic field that is an integration of engineering and computer science. With elements of design, use, and operation of robots, the goal of the field is to create machines that aid human endeavour.
A robotics engineer does just this. He/she/they work behind the scenes to create systems and robots that are able to perform functions that are beyond human capabilities or tasks people just don’t want to do. The best example of this would be automatic vacuum cleaners- the little robot moves around collecting dirt and dust off your floor with minimal effort. To condense it into a sentence, a robotics engineer’s focus is on making tasks more efficient or easier and safer. Robotics engineering is an in-demand role in the world with even robotics engineering courses for kids.
How does it work?
The majority of a robotics engineer’s time is used to design how to build a robot and how the robot can work efficiently. As a robotics engineer, you can even design the machines that assemble these robots too!
The first step is Mechanical Design; giving the robot capabilities of powerful and precise movement. Eg. the highly advanced robots used in the healthcare and automobile industries. The second step is Electronics; bringing these robots with powerful physical capabilities to life using cutting-edge circuitry. Then comes Coding. It is the bedrock of modern machines. You write programs to instruct robots to operate by themselves. You can think of coding as “the language” in which humans talk to machines or machines talk to each other. After this, you would work with IoT (Internet of Things) enabling the robots to communicate with each other.
Lastly, AI! Over time as we manage to build advanced robots with cutting-edge programming, the machines become capable of learning and acting themselves.
What does an average day look like?
An average day for a robotics engineer has a lot of elements. They focus on research, building and configuring robots as well as testing. They need to continuously analyse and evaluate their prototypes for any flaws or chance of an upgrade. As technology is forever evolving, looking out for an upgrade is a must. They code software to control their robotic systems and automated robotic systems depending on the project they are involved in. As the designer, they are also recognised as technical support for the robots they have created. Apart from the robotics element, they would also need to calculate and review costs for their designs and upgrades.
Do you have what it takes to be a Robotics Engineer?
According to multiple research endeavours, robotics engineers are said to have very distinct personalities. Certain personality traits/dimensions actually foster their success in the profession. For example, individuals with the three I’s – inquisitive, introspective and intellectual. They are considered to be ‘investigative’ in nature. Qualities like rationality, analytical thinking and logic are also positively associated with the career. But most importantly, passion. If you have a passion for robotics, the rest you’ll be able to learn in due time.
How do you get there?
Contrary to most forms of engineering, robotics engineering requires multifaceted skills. The individual would act as a liaison between mechanics, computer science, cognitive psychology and electronics.
What courses do you need to become a robotics engineer? To start a career as a robotics engineer, after the 10th standard, you would first need a bachelors’ degree. In an ideal world that would be in Robotics engineering where the courses would include training in CAD/CAM systems, microprocessors, integrated systems, pneumatics and hydraulics etc. But unfortunately, not all universities offer this.
Since robotics is quite dependent on a lot of engineering disciplines, you’d still be unwavering from your path if you pursue a degree in computer engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical or industrial or even mathematics.
To progress in the industry as well as in your career, a master’s or doctoral degree is often favoured. As mentioned before, the industry is very dynamic and robotics engineers need to be updated on the constant changes and developments. To keep up with this, you would also have to stay current with your technical knowledge. This prerequisite is often checked with seminars and training sessions etc.
Right now, you could perhaps start with a couple of courses and micro degrees that would add an edge to your portfolio and help you stand out. Even if you’re not sure whether this is the path you want to take, short courses will not only help you make your decision but help you learn different life skills along the way. Click here to browse courses or here to help you find the best stream or product to help you on your journey. All you’d need to do is answer a few questions.