Robotics engineering involves using mechanics and computer science to build robotic machinery and equipment to perform human and non-human tasks or jobs. As the world revolutionizes, the need for using robots to enhance productivity increases.
Thus, robotics engineering is an exciting profession. However, understanding what a robotics engineer does will help you know if it’s the ideal path for you and what the career entails.
So, this article will uncover everything you should know about what a robotics engineer does, the skills required for the career, the robotics engineering salary, and the degree.
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What is Robotics Engineering?
Robotics engineering combines mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering alongside robotics and artificial intelligence to create, design, build, and manage robotic machinery and equipment.
Further, robotics engineers build robots for different purposes. This includes working in industries and exploring various planets. Robotics engineers typically make a difference in the scientific world.
What Does a Robotics Engineer Do?
A robotics engineer contributes to creating, assembling, and managing robotics technology. Your job will require you to spend much time working behind a computer creating new products, or building and testing prototypes at a workstation.
Additionally, you’ll attend professional conferences to stay updated in the industry. These conferences create room to share ideas with other professionals, unlearn, learn, and relearn the latest technology.
Furthermore, a robotics engineer does the following:
- Monitoring how robotics systems are used and improving their functionality and performance.
- Being technical support for inquiries about their robotic inventions.
- Preparing quality control documentation for new robotics hardware.
- Establishing formal budgets and proposals for robotics equipment.
- Troubleshooting problems within robotics prototypes.
- Completing research in different robotics areas, including artificial intelligence interfaces or nanotechnology.
- Investigating the specifications and needs of a robotic application.
- Studying the elements that robotics needs to function properly, like microprocessors.
- Developing autonomous robotic systems to boost output and effectiveness.
- Creating computer systems to control robotics machinery assembling, testing, and assessing robotics designs for effectiveness.
Types of Robotic Engineers
There are various types of robotics engineering you can select from, with disciplines that match your interests and abilities. For example, some robotics engineers build robotic arms for the automotive industry. In contrast, others work on the development of space exploration robots, and others create specialized robots to aid in medical procedures or the military.
As the discipline has emerged, many specialties have evolved. These include but are not restricted to the following:
- Mechanical robotics engineer
- Medical robotics
- Software robotics engineer
- Intelligent systems
- Air traffic management systems
- Electrical robotics engineer
- General robotics
- Computer software development
- Computer-aided manufacturing
- Control systems
- Computer Vision Engineer
- Machine Learning Engineer
- Sensor Fusion Engineer
- Robotics Research Scientist
- Human-Robot Interaction Engineer
- Artificial intelligence robotics
Skills Required By Robotics Engineers
Since robotics engineering is a multidisciplinary and innovative career, you must be dedicated to consistent learning and improvement. Hence, you’ll need the following skills:
Imagination: You should be capable of imagining how robots move and relate to their environment.
Computer skills: Robotics Engineers use computer software to develop specific robotic systems and robots’ designs before they’re built. They also test the performance of robots in various environments using specialized software programs.
Decision-making skills: Several challenges are without solutions. So you can assess various options to make the best decision.
Communication skills: You should be able to communicate your designs to other experts as a robotics engineer.
Interest in the field: Robotics engineers are responsible for designing, assembling, testing, and managing robots. Therefore, you must understand sensory feedback systems, electronics, mechanics, and how these machines function.
Math skills: You will require advanced math daily as you develop and evaluate robots’ performance. Such math includes trigonometry, calculus, statistics, measurement, geometry, and algebra.
Focus: Robotics engineering requires logical and practical thinking to debug machines and make them function correctly.
Additionally, you may need domain-specific skills. For instance, if you’re designing robotic brain interfaces, you may require knowledge of flexible conducting metals used as neural probes.
If it’s autonomous robots you’re designing, you must understand artificial intelligence and programming languages. However, you can learn domain-specific technical skills on the job, but some recruiters will prefer experience in the field you’ll be working.
Acquiring a Robotics Engineering Degree: How To Become a Robotics Engineer
To kickstart a career in robotics engineering, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. But if you want to work in a robotics software position, you will require a computer science background.
In addition, you should get an electrical or mechanical engineering degree to focus on designing robotic components. Meanwhile, the steps below will guide you to acquiring a Robotics engineering degree.
1. Get a bachelor’s degree.
Many colleges offer a bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering. However, many aspiring robotics engineers prefer to pursue an electrical or mechanical engineering degree focusing on robotics.
Furthermore, many universities offer a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or electrical engineering, focusing on robotics. You’ll possibly take physics and mathematics courses and more specific classes associated with robotics (for example, programming languages and mechanical design).
2. Gain experience.
Although some employers may employ recent graduates, others seek individuals with experience. To gain relevant experience, you can volunteer to work on projects through your local robotic clubs or college.
Additionally, you can seek voluntary or paid internships with organizations that create and sell robots. These internships provide practical experience working with robots and can help you develop professional relationships with mentors who can coach you as you begin your career.
3. Obtain a graduate degree.
Many recruiters would instead employ individuals who have completed a master’s or doctorate program in robotics engineering or a related discipline.
Hence, graduate programs enable you to obtain valuable skills and knowledge through advanced research opportunities and coursework.
Meanwhile, most master’s programs require two years to complete, while doctoral degrees take four to eight years.
4. Consider certifications or licensure.
This is the final step in acquiring a robotics engineering degree. Although robotics engineers are not required to obtain licensure, they can get professional certifications.
These professional certifications can enhance their job prospects. Therefore, engineers can obtain their Professional Engineer (PE) license after completing practical and theoretical training requirements.
See also | 8 Examples Of Robotics In Education To Know
Where Do Robotics Engineers Work?
Many positions conduct advanced robotics research in colleges. However, you can still work in the following places as a robotics engineer:
- One of the largest employers of robotics engineers is automotive manufacturers. These firms use robots to produce vehicles and their components.
- Aerospace companies also employ robotics engineers to design and produce satellites, missiles, and spacecraft. Robots also help to assemble aircraft and perform maintenance.
- Defense contractors also employ robotics engineers who build military weapons that need automated or remote operations.
- Medical equipment producers depend on robotics engineers to develop artificial prosthetics and limbs. Moreover, surgical operations have used increased robotic surgical systems.
Robotics Engineering Salary
According to indeed.com, the average annual salary for professionals in robotics engineering in the United States is $94,836. However, the pay can range from as low as $61,561 and as high as $146,099 annually.
The table below shows the average daily, weekly, and monthly salary ranges for robotics engineering experts.
Robotics engineers are the creative minds behind the machines that are changing our world. They design, build, and test robots for various applications, from manufacturing and healthcare to entertainment and defense.
Furthermore, robotic engineers must have a strong understanding of mechanical and electrical engineering principles. They must also be able to program robots and work with software.
In addition, robotic engineers must be creative and innovative, as they constantly develop new ways to improve robots. No matter where you work, as a robotic engineer, you will be at the forefront of technology.
Thus, you will have the opportunity to create robots that will change the world.