Robotics engineers are responsible for the design and creation of robots. While the job seems straightforward, the path to a career in robotics is more difficult.
There are few if any schools that offer degrees specifically in robotics, so here are a few college majors that provide students the best paths towards a career in robotics engineering.
1. Electrical/Electronic Engineering
Electrical engineering is one of the best majors to have in college to help pursue a career in robotics. Electrical engineering classes include general training courses in pneumatics and hydraulics, numerically controlled systems, integrated systems, logic and microprocessors.
Robotics relies heavily on the knowledge of engineers who specialize in electrical engineering, particularly for the electronics, embedded systems, control theory and low-level programming.
Electrical engineering courses provide a lot of information about robotics and automation and can provide suitable preparation for aspiring robotics engineers.
2. Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is another branch of engineering that helps with an aspect of robotics technology. Mechanical engineers work to design and develop, build and test mechanical sensors and devices.
In the robotics field, mechanical engineers would be in charge of the physical make-up of a robot. Mechanical engineering courses like, mechanics, materials engineering and manufacturing are central to understanding how robotics works.
In addition to mechanics, materials engineering and manufacturing courses, many mechanical engineering courses offer specializations in mechatronics or robotics that allow students to focus on the physical design and actuation of a robot.
Those who earn an associate’s degree might become an electro-mechanical technician. In this role, you can operate, test and maintain automated and robotic equipment. There are many other related positions an individual with their associate’s degree can fill, including that of a mechanical engineering technician, industrial engineering technician and mechanical drafter.
2. Computer Science
Though computer science is not in the engineering field, computer science majors offer an understanding of computing technology and the ability to understand and study complex problems in technology. Computing technology is a crucial part of robotics.
Computer scientists understand the robotic software platforms and are necessary for researching high-level programming.
While mechanical and electrical engineers focus on the hardware aspects of robotics, computer scientists work on the programming side. Computer scientists design what has been called “the brain” of the robots. The brain dictates how the robot will interpret the world, its movement and its actions.
Computer scientists deal with the motion planning, computer vision and machine learning aspects of robot creation. A lot of computer science courses include topics like artificial intelligence and software design. Some even say a background in psychology can help with the computer science aspect of robotics.
Understanding mathematics is crucial to understanding robotics and engineering, so why not consider a degree in mathematics to help with an advanced degree in engineering in the future?
A solid grasp of mathematics is crucial to understanding computing and programming, engineering and sciences. Mathematics majors can go on to pursue careers in data science, data analysis and computer programming, all of which can be put to use in the robotics field.
4. Design and Technology
An understanding of technology and design can help with the physical systems and make-up of a robot. A degree in design and technology helps a robotics engineer understand the software of the robot as well as the physical aspects necessary for the robot or machine to work correctly.