Careers in an increasingly automated world

Robotics engineers should have expertise in both hardware and software.

Robotics is witnessing a new revolution in India. Today, governments and enterprises are increasingly turning to robots to save time, manpower and cost. 

While the automotive industry has seen the highest adoption, the demand for robots is growing in other industries as well. Such growth augurs well for those looking to make a career in the Robotics industry.

Job opportunities

The sector has opened up a plethora of job opportunities. Some of the most preferred job roles are Robotics Engineer, Robotics Operator and Robotics Technicians. There is a lot of scope for start-ups which can offer solutions to various problems of the industry and the society, and there are ample opportunities in the field of automation in the industries such as surgery, space exploration, manufacturing, defence etc. Due to the exponential growth in Robotics and Automation, several universities offer courses and workshops in this field.

One such course is Mechatronics Engineering which is an interdisciplinary branch and includes courses in mechanical, electronics, electrical, computer science engineering etc. The courses taught in Mechatronic Engineering enable students to understand and analyse the different concepts of Robotics.

Some universities also offer Robotics as an elective subject in various branches of engineering at the undergraduate (UG) level. Different programming languages used in Robotics are also taught in a few universities.

Courses in Robotics are less at the UG level as most universities offer MTech or  ME with specialisation in Robotics and Automation at the postgraduate (PG) level. The eligibility for these PG courses is generally BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science Engineering.

At the PG level, students are taught courses like Robotics and Automation, Robotic sensors, Industrial Automation and Control, Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic, Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems, Machine Vision etc., along with some laboratory courses.

Students pursuing Robotics courses have various career opportunities such as:

Research and Development in Robotics companies.

Maintenance, monitoring and quality control engineers for handling robots in various sectors such as medical, automation, automobile and manufacturing.

Sales engineers in various multinational companies.

Engineers who can work as robot operators and technicians.

Skills required

There are a few skills that are necessary for a successful career in this field. They are:

Programming skills

Troubleshooting skills 

Problem-solving skills

Communication skills

Robotics engineers ought to know both the hardware and software aspects.

To succeed in this space, basic aptitude is also required in the following areas: Basic concepts clarity on sensors and actuators, understanding of real-life situations and their constraints, programming skills, logical thinking capability and the ability to adapt to changes in technology such as skills to learn and unlearn.

With the development in the automation industry, the demand for Robotics engineers is more than the number of trained engineers. A skilled Robotic engineer is the requirement of every industry. With a limited number of professionals, students opting for Robotics have a good scope in the days to come.

(The writer is Assistant Professor at Lovely Professional University)

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