Press Esc to close

Opportunities in the field of robotics

Sean Anderson, Dec 6 2017, 23:53 IST
There is a massive demand for engineers who can design robots of the future.

There is a massive demand for engineers who can design robots of the future.

Robots have always fascinated people, whether they are aspiring to be the 'engineers of the future' or just spectators and consumers wanting to see what the next gadget will be. For those wanting to start a career as an engineer, it is an excellent time to study robotics: governments across the globe are encouraging industries to focus on the long-awaited fourth industrial revolution, the so-called Industry 4.0, which will embed robots in smart manufacturing technologies.

Manufacturing has come a long way since the first mechanisation of devices using water or steam power. The first factories relied on simple machines doing repetitive tasks and people labouring to complete the product. As consumerism and need grew, the mass production assembly line allowed items to be created quickly and to a high quality, using machines running on electricity.

Then came the first standalone automation systems and robots. The next evolution in manufacturing is cyber physical systems - interconnected networks of robots, devices and products that communicate data, which is the main new element of smart manufacturing, or Industry 4.0.

Outside of the factories, robots have vast potential for operating in our cities where they will contribute to smart and safe traffic systems with wirelessly interconnected driverless cars. And in healthcare, robots surgeons will operate on and care for people with tireless attention to detail, moving surgical tools with micro-scale precision beyond the limits of human capability. There is a massive demand for the engineers who will design these robots of the future, and one of the ways in which these engineers will learn the skills they need is through either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

A Mechatronic and Robotics engineering degree is built around the pillars of Computing, Control, Mechanics and Electronics. And one more thing: Maths. Maths is often overlooked by prospective students but it is central to robot design as a good engineer needs to understand all the fundamentals. For instance, using differential equations from Calculus to
describe the changing forces and velocities of a driverless car with respect to
time.

Mathematics is also of key importance for developing machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms for robot control. As such, on most degree programmes in Robotics engineering, you will study machine learning techniques such as artificial neural networks, pattern recognition and data fusion - some of the main building blocks of artificial intelligence.

Possible careers

Currently, robots and mechatronics systems used in industry are quite simple: robot arms pick up objects and place them down in pre-defined locations in factories, safely isolated from people. However, in the future, robots will operate around people, in what are known as unstructured environments, where random events occur. Robots will need to be able to adapt to unpredictable situations, like when a person unexpectedly steps out in front of a driverless car.

As the robots become smarter, the demand for robots will increase in industry, driving increased employment opportunities for robotics engineers. Some of the industry sectors likely to benefit are:

Smart manufacturing: Robots working safely alongside humans to increase productivity (in industry 4.0).

Offshore exploration: Underwater robots will be use to explore the oceans, inspect and maintain underwater infrastructure, and also aid rescue missions.

Robotics engineering is one of the most soguht-after degree to study not only because of the excitement it offers, but also due to the high salaries offered, when compared to many other fields. This makes Robotics engineering a great investment for your future.

So, if you enjoy Maths but want to work in a growing industry, amongst some of the most exciting technologies of the 21st century - consider robotics as a possible option for study in higher education.

(The author is senior lecturer, University of Sheffield, UK)

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media on the first day of the winter session...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media on the first day of the winter session...

Outgoing Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress...

Outgoing Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress...

INLD MP Dushyant Chautala arrives by a tractor to attend the winter session of Parliament...

INLD MP Dushyant Chautala arrives by a tractor to attend the winter session of Parliament...

Social activist Anna Hazare while addressing a press conference at the Guwahati Press club, in...

Social activist Anna Hazare while addressing a press conference at the Guwahati Press club, in...

Members of Anganwadi workers hold a protest against Uttar Pradesh Government in support of their...

Members of Anganwadi workers hold a protest against Uttar Pradesh Government in support of their...

Election observers inspecting the EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) at a distribution centre...

Election observers inspecting the EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) at a distribution centre...

A vegetable vendor sits between the wheels of a parked truck, in a street market in Kolkata on...

A vegetable vendor sits between the wheels of a parked truck, in a street market in Kolkata on...

Army jawans near a helicopter parked at Kolkata maidan during foggy Friday morning. Historic Victori

Army jawans near a helicopter parked at Kolkata maidan during foggy Friday morning. Historic Victori

A fisherman casting his net at Dal Lake during a cold winter morning, in Srinagar on...

A fisherman casting his net at Dal Lake during a cold winter morning, in Srinagar on...

Muslims pray on the steps of a mosque during a demonstration against the...

Muslims pray on the steps of a mosque during a demonstration against the...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.