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Robotics Engineer

Robotics Engineer

Learn about the Robotics Engineering field and what it takes to become a Robotics Engineer, including the required skills, education, experience, and potential salaries.

Robotics Engineers help create robotic systems used to perform human and nonhuman duties. As a Robotics Engineer, you’ll be doing the following responsibilities:

  • Design and build robots
  • Maintain and repair robots
  • Develop new applications for existing robots
  • Research to expand the potential of robotics.
  • Some Robotics Engineers specialize in creating specific parts of a robot.

As a Robotics Engineer, you could contribute to any aspect of the robot, from initial design to writing control software. You’ll evaluate robotic systems, make any necessary improvements, and perform tests to ensure the robots function correctly and meet industry standards before people use them.

Robotics Engineers create robots for various purposes, from exploring other planets to working in factories. You can make a significant difference in the world as a Robotics Engineer.

What is Robotics Engineering

The Robotics Engineering field falls under the electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering categories. It involves designing, building, and engineering robots. It’s also a valuable design role in the research field.

What does a Robotics Engineer do

As a Robotics Engineer, you may develop robotic applications across many industries, including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, defense, and medicine.

You may spend much of your time working at a computer designing new products or at a workstation assembling prototypes for testing purposes. Some Robotics Engineers work on-site at manufacturing plants overseeing robots as they operate on assembly lines.

To keep up with developments in the field, you’ll attend professional conferences. These conferences allow for sharing new ideas with other experts and learning about the latest technology.

Working as a Robotics Engineer, you can specialize in areas such as:

  • Mobility locomotion
  • Sensing and perception
  • Operator interface
  • Manipulators and effectors
  • Programming
Types of robotic engineers

Many different types of Robotics Engineering are available for you to choose from, with specialties that fit your interests and skills.

For instance, some Robotics Engineers design robotic arms for the auto industry, others help create robots for space exploration, and others develop specialized robots to help perform surgery or assist the military.

Robotics Engineering combines electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer systems engineering. Many specialties have emerged as the field has grown and expanded, including but not limited to:

  • Air traffic management systems
  • Artificial intelligence robotics
  • Automation
  • Bio-cybernetics
  • Computer software development
  • Computer-aided manufacturing
  • Control systems
  • General robotics
  • Intelligent systems
  • Medical robotics
  • Micro-robotics

Robots are used in various fields, creating many opportunities for Robotics Engineers. You may work in:

  • A manufacturing plant building, maintaining, and fixing robots
  • A technology company designing personal and domestic robots
  • A university performing research on human-machine interaction and robotic advances
  • Industrial research developing and building new automated design concepts
What Skills are Required for Robotics Engineers
  • As Robotics Engineering is a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary field, you may need to be curious and committed to continuous learning. More specifically, you may want to have these skills:
  • Interest in how things work: As a Robotics Engineer, you’ll be responsible for designing, assembling, testing, and maintaining robots. You must understand mechanics, electronics, sensory feedback systems, and how these complex machines operate.
  • Imagination: You must visualize how a robot moves and interacts with its environment.
  • Decision-making skills: Many problems need clear solutions. In these situations, it’s up to you to evaluate different options and make the best decision.
  • Math skills: As a Robotics Engineer, you’ll use advanced math daily as you design and analyze the performance of robots. Algebra, geometry, measurement, and statistics are commonly used, and calculus or trigonometry may also be used.
  • Computer skills: Robotics Engineers use computer software to create detailed designs of robots and robotic systems before they’re built. They also use specialized software programs to test how robots perform in different environments.
  • A practical focus: You must use practical and logical thinking to debug machines and get them working correctly. You’ll often have to make decisions that compromise performance in one area and be able to ascertain the best path forward.
  • Communication skills: The ability to communicate your designs to other professionals is essential when working as an engineer.

You’ll also need domain-specific skills. For example, if you’re working on designing robotic brain interfaces, you may require knowledge of flexible conducting metals used as neural probes. If you’re working on autonomous robots, you must understand programming languages and artificial intelligence. You can often learn domain-specific technical skills on the job, although some employers want prior experience in the area you’ll be working.

Where does a Robotics Engineer work
  • A lot of positions conduct advanced robotics research in universities. Here are some industries where you’ll find Robotics Engineering jobs.
  • Automotive manufacturers are one of the largest employers of Robotics Engineers. These companies use robots in manufacturing vehicles and their parts.
  • Robotics Engineers also work for defense contractors who build military weapons that require remote or automated operations. Military drones and missile systems commonly use robotic technology.
  • Aerospace firms employ Robotics Engineers to design and manufacture spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. Robots also help assemble aircraft and perform maintenance on them.
  • Medical equipment manufacturers rely on Robotics Engineers to create artificial limbs and prosthetics. Surgical operations have increasingly used robotic surgical systems.
  • Robotics Engineers can also find employment at research firms that study robotic technology and its possible applications in different industries.
Salary and career outlook for robotic engineers

Robotics Engineering is proliferating. Robotics is forecast to grow at an annual growth rate of 28 percent between 2021 and 2030, higher than average.

The average annual Robotics Engineering salary in the US is $83,072. Some jobs in Robotics Engineering and their average US salaries include:

  • Robotics electrical engineer: $88,408
  • Robotics software engineer: $97,115
  • Automation engineer: $84,291
  • Computer vision engineer: $104,382
How to Become a Robotics Engineer

To become a Robotics Engineer, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. If you intend to work in a robotics software role, you’ll need a background in computer science. On the other hand, if you want to design robotic components, you’ll focus your studies on mechanical or electrical engineering.

Earn a bachelor’s degree

Several universities offer bachelor’s degrees in Robotics Engineering. Many aspiring Robotics Engineers pursue a mechanical or electrical engineering degree focusing on robotics. You can choose from various majors and still have access to a robotics career, including:

  • Electrical/Electronics engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Computer science
  • Mathematics
  • Design and technology
  • Computing and programming

Many colleges offer bachelor’s degrees in electrical or mechanical engineering with a concentration in robotics. In addition, you’ll likely take mathematics and physics courses and more specialized classes related to robotics, such as mechanical design and programming languages.

If you choose a degree in electrical or computer engineering with robotics, your coursework will focus on components within robots, such as actuators, sensors, and circuit boards.

Employers typically are okay with whether you have a specific bachelor’s degree. They want you to have the necessary skills and know-how to perform the job. For example, most Robotics Engineers hold at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

What is a Robotics Engineering degree

A Robotics Engineering degree program teaches you how to design and build robots. Your courses will teach you about mechanical and electrical engineering, chemistry, computer science, and physics. The type of Robotics Engineer you become depends on your educational background, your industry experience, and the area of specialization you choose. A robotics major can keep different robotics specializations open to you.

Gain experience

While some employers may hire new graduates, many look for candidates with experience. To get experience, you can volunteer to work on projects through your university or local robotics clubs. You can also seek paid or voluntary internships with companies that make and sell robots. Internships provide hands-on experience working with robots and may help you build professional relationships with mentors who can guide you as you start your career. Some companies even hire their interns as full-time employees after they graduate.

Consider a graduate degree

Many employers prefer to hire applicants who have completed a master’s or doctorate program in Robotics Engineering or a related field. Graduate programs allow you to gain valuable knowledge and skills through advanced coursework and research opportunities. Most master’s programs take two years to complete, and doctoral degrees take four to eight years.

Consider licensure or certifications

Robotics Engineers aren’t required to get licensure. However, earning professional credentials may improve your job prospects. Engineers can achieve their professional engineer (PE) license after completing theoretical and practical training requirements.

Is Robotics Engineering right for me

Careers in Robotics Engineering can be gratifying. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider this career path:

You’ll need to commit yourself to lifelong learning. The world of technology is constantly changing and evolving. To remain competitive and relevant, you must stay current with technological advancements.

Focus on solutions. You may need help from time to time. When you do, you may need to be able to take a step back and focus on finding the solution rather than getting bogged down by the problem.

Robotics Engineering could be the right career for you if:

  • You have a solid commitment to lifelong learning.
  • You thrive in an intellectually challenging environment.
  • You have high initiative, integrity, professionalism, and accountability.
  • You can prioritize competing demands, handle multiple projects, and organize your time effectively.
  • You have well-developed analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills.
Next steps

Start learning a robotics career’s fundamentals and technical skills by understanding the building blocks. Consider the Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control Specialization or the Robotics Process Automation (RPA) Specialization offered by UI Path on Skilldacity.

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