Very rarely do you find industries out there that are as interesting and are such an amazing career path as robotics. This technical field is one of the only in the world that is so developed, yet still requires a ton more of it to be at a stage that it should be. From the days when a calculator was supposed to be the most powerful machine ever made to the days when the AI of Sophia that can perceive, understand and even replicate human emotions. The field has evolved a lot, but if someone like you still wants to take part in it’s evolution, there’s so many ways you could help.
So, if you’re interested in learning how you become a part of robotics engineering and possibly pursue a career in the industry, then this article is just for you. We’re going to start off with a few introductory paragraphs about robotics engineering, it’s applications and why it’s such an amazing industry with tons of applications. Once your eyes are open to the work you can do as a part of robotics engineering, then we’re going to discuss the top two ways to enter robotics engineering. The first way is a little formal and by the book, but the second can just be considered an extra-curricular activity. Well, we aren’t going to spoil much right now. Let’s get into the article.
What is Robotics Engineering?
Basically, robotics is a simple term, but it represents a lot more things at play. Robotics, or more preferably, robotics engineering is a branch of science that includes a variety of different fields such as mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering and computer science. When you’re constructing a robot, there’s so many diverse things that go into it’s successful manufacturing. And, hence, each one of those steps represent a complete separate field of engineering that are part of robotics.
The First Robot Ever
Robots were being created for entertainment purposes since the early 20th century. But, if you’re asking for the very first robot that had an industrial application and actually served human beings to make their lives easier, then the name that comes to mind would be Unimate. Unimate wad made in the 1950s and it took about a decade to be used industrially. It was used at the Inland Fisher Guide Plant in New Jersey on a General Motors Assembly Line in 1961. Back then, filing patents took an insane amount of time. George Devol, the maker of the Unimate, filed for a patent in 1954. But, it took 7 years for the patent to be approved and the robot to be used in a real-life environment.
After seeing the amount of success Unimate had, Devol along with his associate Joseph Engelberger started Unimation, the world’s very first robot construction company. Unimation robotics were widely used in assembly of automobiles where the rough environment of the factories where losing a limb is apparently the best case scenario.
In 2003, the Unimate was added to the Robot Hall of Fame.
Why is Learning Robotics Important?
Well, there’s no certain answer to this question. If we really went to extreme length and talked about all the reasons why learning robotics can help you out, well, let’s just say we’d be here for a long time. But, the most basic reason for kids to learn robotics is to develop STEM skills. STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Basically, these are the four skills that every kid needs to develop in their early teenage years. However, there’s no good way for them to learn them without being absolutely bored out of their minds. So, in order for kids to learn STEM the right way, you can use robotics. The reason why we’re recommending robotics and robotics only is pretty obvious. Thinking about it, how many industries can you name that include all four aspects of STEM. When you’re working with robotics, you’re refining all of the above mentioned skills and making the most out of your education at a really early age.
Applications of Robots
Once again, the answer to this ‘question’ could take days to explain fully. However, we’re going to sum up some the main industries and talk about them below.
Applications in Hospitals
Robotics are, believe it or not, saving thousands of lives every single day. Basically, the difference between a robot and human is that a robot does not get nervous. It does not care that it’s slicing open a man’s aorta and doesn’t hesitate in doing so. However, when we’re talking about high risk surgeries that require extreme precision, it’s not unlikely that even the most experienced surgeon’s hands tremble during the procedure. This is where robotics come in. Surgeons can use robotics arms and limbs for greater level of precision that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.
Applications in Space
These days, NASA rarely sends human beings into space because we now have robots to do that for us. Basically, all the outer space explorations being done today around the solar system are all being done through robotics. The robots are easier to send to outer space, they don’t have to be fed and most of all, you’re saving valuable man power that could be invested in other ventures.
Applications in the Military
The military and the U.S. Army especially, is currently using robotics as a integral part of it’s defense systems. Most anti-aircraft systems are robots meant to detect unwanted motion in the airspace. Apart from that, the military uses unmanned drones to attack high-profile targets where it would be impossible for a manned aircraft to escape intact. Robotics in military isn’t saving money, but it is saving the lives of thousands of soldiers around the globe.
How Can You Become a Robotics Engineer?
So, now that you’re more into all the exciting stuff that is possible through the field of robotics and robotics engineering. It’s time to tell you how you can get to be a part of all that. There are two ways to do this. First is, like we said, more of a conventional way through colleges and universities. While, the second is a completely self-help and self-study approach that is a bit harder since you’re your own teacher, but it does still teach you a lot about the industry. Let’s talk about both ways in detail.
After you’ve completed your secondary education, there’s a lot of programs that you could follow in college to pursue a career in robotics. These courses are usually listed under the name of Robotics Engineering. Programs can vary a lot depending from university to university, so it’s best if you first ask around exactly what the objectives of that course are beforehand.
Dozens of universities around the United States are providing courses and diplomas in the field of robotics. So, if one option doesn’t work around, try the second. The bottom line is that you could chuck a stone out the window and it would land at ten educational institutes providing degrees in the field of robotics.
Basically, the way to study robotics on your own is pretty simple. You could simply go on YouTube, Udemy and a ton of other educational sites on the internet and learn each aspect of building a robot through there. This isn’t particularly hard since these courses are built for complete newbies to the field and can be uses by anyone regardless of their area of expertise. However, if you really want to get your hands dirty, we suggest something called robotics clubs. Basically, robotics clubs are comprised of students just like yourselves that may or may not be entirely involved in the field of robotics academically. Robotics club give kids a chance to learn about robots in a different way through seminars, competitions and most of all, team collaboration. You’re paired up with other participants and given a common goal, to build a robot. This can be anything from a standard line following robot to a complex robotic limb capable of lifting hundreds of kilograms of weight. That’s the beauty of robotics clubs. Regardless of your expertise level, there’s some club out there suited just according to what you’re looking for and your level of expertise.