How to enter in the field of robotics?
by Debdeep, India (West BENGAL)
on March 29, 2012
The field of robotics is rapidly becoming one of the leading fields of science and technology. This field involves interdisciplinary work of different engineering areas (electrical, mechanical, and electronic) and computer science.
To enter in this field, you generally need at least a bachelor's degree in engineering in some of above mentioned areas of engineering or computer science. The technology of robotics is based on the expertise of many different engineering disciplines.
Some universities and colleges now offer robotics engineering degrees. Study programs in robotics usually include courses of hydraulics and pneumatics, CADD/CAM systems, numerically controlled systems, microprocessors, integrated systems, and logic. It usually takes four to five years to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering.
Thank you for your question and I apologize in the delay of my response.
There are several ways of answering this question depending on your age.
For example, if you are younger then 18 and have not entered into university yet, the most important thing is to realize that you are interested in engineering, specifically robotics. I would assume that you enjoy tinkering, or fixing electronics and equipment around your house and knowing how stuff works. If you already have the ability to troubleshoot components and have a gift for taking things apart and putting them back together, you are a great candidate for a robotics career.
I cannot emphasize enough how important the subjects of math and science are early on in your schooling. Take a diverse selection of classes ranging in science like physics, chemistry, biology and complement it with advanced math classes. One of the most important qualities in a student and an employee/engineer is to be well rounded. It is not enough to build a robot, but it is important and a lot more fun if you can understand the applications of what you are creating. For example, I work with robots that explore our oceans. My team is constantly improving our technology by using the robots in conjunction with scientists who we specifically design them for. If a scientist wants to be able to take photos in 6000 meters of dark, turbid waters of a shipwreck, we need to design a system that can swim that deep and take pictures using flashes and that can navigate blindly. Developing strong communication skills is another important professional skill.
You should begin to do internet searches for companies/schools that offer internships or study abroad opportunities. There is a lot of scholarship money available for engineering especially for women and minorities that goes unused every year. Spend some time doing some background research. Also, try to immerse yourself in a broad engineering path if you haven't already done so and then slowly specialize in robotics. Maybe there is a specific application of robotics you are interested in? Find something you love and figure out a way to get paid to do it. Sometimes you have to take a job that isn't your dream job but it can be a stepping stone into something else later on. Always keep an open mind and network with people as much as possible. You just never know what opportunity is awaiting behind every door.
Good luck and let me know if I can offer more specific information.