From the industrial robots used in the manufacturing industry to the more sophisticated news anchor robots, it’s impossible not to have heard the term “robotics” in this day and age. And, professionals with a robotic engineering degree are the ones behind these technological wonders.
But have you ever wondered how they gained the knowledge and skills to build robots? Well, it’s not magic. That’s for sure. It requires a lot of hard work and determination to become a robotics engineer.
Who Is a Robotics Engineer?
Robotics engineers are skilled and highly trained professionals who design, create, build, maintain, and test robots, robotic devices, and other automated systems. Their duties and responsibilities may include debugging programs, reviewing calculations and designs, as well as calibrating and servicing robots. They may also be tasked to integrate robots with other mechanical devices, as well as supervise other engineers and technicians.
A robotics engineering salary can range between $64,000 and $96,000 annually, depending on the experience and educational level. But typically, a good robotic engineer is one who is adept at handling tools and is highly knowledgeable in computer programming and mathematics, as well as computer-aided drafting and design.
Steps to Becoming a Robotics Engineer
The road to becoming a robotics engineer is not an easy one. There are many challenges to overcome. However, it is not impossible to become one. Like any other profession, all you need is dedication and some hard work to succeed.
Discover your passion for robotics engineering
Have you always been curious about how things work? Do you like building new things or taking things, such as gadgets and other electronic items, apart? It doesn’t matter whether you were able to put things back the way they were or completely ruined them. That fundamental curiosity and passion for building things are your ticket to becoming an engineer.
Taking subjects required for robotics engineering in high school, such as advanced computer science, algebra, trigonometry, physics, and computer-aided design, is a good place to start if you’re really serious about attaining this degree.
Earn a baccalaureate degree
Make sure to choose a fully-accredited university that specializes in teaching robotics or electrical engineering. Do take note that a background in mechanical engineering is essential if you want to build robots that move and perform physical tasks.
Some robotics engineering colleges offer programs that conjoin electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science to create a focused robotics curriculum.
Earn certifications and gain work experience
A bachelor’s degree is only the first step in achieving your goal. The next steps you need to take are to earn yourself certifications and get hands-on work experience. For example, getting artificial intelligence (AI) certifications will not just teach you about AI software and development. It also helps open up work opportunities in the robotics engineering field.
Earn a master’s degree
Most likely, the robotics engineering program that you take requires to have some hands-on experience before you can earn a master’s degree. Now, this is a good opportunity to reflect on what you want to pursue in graduate school. If, along the way, you discovered that a dual Master of Business Administration (MBA)/Engineering degree serves you better than a Master of Science (MS) in Robotics Engineering, you can still make the switch. You may also discover that you’re more interested in an MBA in management and administration with a focus on engineering.
Skills and Knowledge to Acquire
Some of the skills and knowledge you need to acquire as a robotics engineer include:
- Critical thinking
- Above average programming skills
- Active and continuous learning
- Science and other applied mathematics
- Good communication skills
- Excellent decision-making skills
- Complex problem-solving abilities
Robotics Design Process
The overall robotics design process follows the steps listed below.
- Identify the need
- Define the problem
- Research and design
- Specify requirements
- Evaluate the best solution
- Build a prototype
- Test and redesign
Mechanical Robotic Parts
The most common mechanical robotic parts include:
- Robotic arms
- Robotic control systems
- Robotic grippers
- Robotic transducers and sensors
- Robotic motors and joints
The different kinds of robotic motors are the following (source: https://www.elmomc.com/product/servo-motors/)
- AC or DC motors
- Stepper motors
- Servo motors
- Linear actuators
Robotics is an interesting branch of engineering. Plus, robotics engineer jobs are quite in demand. However, if—after a few years working in the robotics field—you found out that it isn’t your thing, there are still many other options with a master’s degree in engineering. For example, you can choose computer engineering, mechanical engineering, or industrial engineering. You can also take a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program and share your knowledge as a university teacher.
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