Robotics is a branch of science that combines mechanical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and other disciplines. People who work in robotics are educated in design, construction, computer systems, sensory feedback, and information processing. The technology that these processes create is used to substitute for humans and replicate human motion and action. Some robots may be designed to resemble humans, but they come in many shapes and sizes. Robots are able to work in dangerous environments and are highly efficient at their tasks.
Robotics education is becoming more popular with each passing year. There are many reasons for children to study robotics in school. Robots are a practical way for students to learn about programming; children with a range of abilities can work with them; robots can demystify complicated technology; and children find them fun to play with. There’s no doubt that robots are a major part of our future, so this is a valuable topic to study in college. It’s likely that you’ll be able to use your education to work in a job that hasn’t even been invented yet. Whether you plan to live on campus or you’re seeking out programs that lead to online bachelor’s degrees, there’s no doubt that robotics is an exciting field of study.
If you study robotics, you can expect to take courses in motion planning, robotic engineering, computer visions, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer programming for robotics. Other areas of study within the field include unified robotics, industrial robotics, kinematics, sensor technology, feedback control systems, electrical theory, computer-aided design, and machine perception.
In today’s world, you can find robots at work anywhere. Their speed and efficiency is often put to use in assembly lines and for packing and shipping products. Arc-welding robots are used to make automobiles and prevents humans from having to work around dangerous heat and fumes. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to find shelf-scanning robots at your local grocery store. And artificial intelligence within your smartphone can respond to your voice commands and answer your questions.
History of Robotics
Robots are of great use to us because they are able to work in dangerous areas and are efficient at repetitive manual tasks. We think of robots as a modern invention, but history says that automatons were present in ancient Greece and Rome. One of the earliest automatons was a mechanical, steam-operated bird created by Greek inventor Archytas of Tarentum in the 4th century B.C. Leonardo da Vinci planned out sketches for a humanoid robot in the 1400s, and in the 18th century, Jacques de Vaucanson was famous for making an automated human that played the flute as well as a duck that could flap its wings.
As we look to the future, we can expect to see more and more robots becoming a part of daily life, growing increasingly sophisticated as time goes by. Robots will indeed replace humans in many jobs, but as this occurs, we will need trained people with the skills to build, monitor, and fix them. Rather than fear robots, engineers encourage us to welcome their efficiency and usefulness. Studying robotics will allow you to become an important contributor to health care, manufacturing, agriculture, or whatever your field of interest is. The possibilities are endless in the future of robotics. The only limit is human imagination.
- AI and Robotics Timeline: A visual history of the progression of robots and AI puts their development into perspective.
- A Short History of Robots: This timeline describes ancient Greek robots, the Stanford Cart in the 1970s, and all of the robots in between.
- The First Robot Was a Steam-Powered Pigeon: Learn more about the one of the earliest robots, a steam-powered bird invented by a Greek engineer.
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Robot Knight: Leonardo da Vinci was a genius who dabbled in all areas of study, not just the arts. Learn more about one of his robotic inventions, modeled after a knight, here.
- Jacques de Vaucanson: This notable roboticist was famed for creating fun and entertaining automatons.
Robotics Education and Training
- How to Become a Robotics Engineer: Those interested in a career in robotics can learn more about job satisfaction, degree requirements, and skills archetypes here.
- A Day in the Life of a Robotics Engineer: This article explains what robotics engineers do on a daily basis and what may be expected in the future.
- How to Become a Robotics Engineer in Five Steps: These key steps can pave the way to a successful career as a robotics engineer.
- What Is Robotics? NASA defines the field of robotics and a few robotic inventions they use in their work.
- Robotics Careers and Education: Find out what kinds of careers are available in robotics and what kind of degrees are needed.
- Want to Build a Career in Robotics? Learn more about why robotics is an exciting and lucrative field to work in.
Robotics Research and News
- Why Robots Are Good for Blue-Collar Workers: This article presents information to ease fears that robots will replace workers and shrink the number of job opportunities.
- Accelerating Design, Training of Deep Learning Networks: Some engineers work hard at “training” robots and networks to make highly effective computing systems.
- Lifeguard Drone Saves Two on First Day: This robot was able to save lives in Australia.
- Nature-Inspired Soft Millirobot Makes its Way Through Enclosed Spaces: Find out just how tiny a robot can be.
- A Clunky Chat With Sophia the Robot: The human-like robot Sophia has been making worldwide headlines. Watch her interact with an interviewer.
- Rwanda’s First Robotics Boot Camp: Citizens in Rwanda are excited to introduce young students to robotics with the country’s first robotics boot camp.
- Surgical Robots Enter the Operating Theater: Surgeons can now receive help from robots.
- The Robots Patrolling Walmart’s Aisles: You may spot these robots at your local Walmart as they scan the shelves and take stock.
- The Robot Revolution: This article speculates on what we might see in the future of humanoid robots.
Robotics Organizations and Associations
- National Robot Safety Conference: Here are reasons why a robotics engineer would be interested in the National Robot Safety Conference.
- IEEE Robotics and Automation Society: This organization helps robotics engineers share information and ideas.
- International Federation of Robotics: Members from around the world join together to share robotics resources. This organization even has a newsroom and collection of statistics.
- We Robotics: This group of drone enthusiasts also does humanitarian work in developing countries.
- MassRobotics: This Boston-based group is a hub for innovation for inventors and robotic engineers of all kinds.
Robotics Magazines and E-Zines
- Age of Robots: A key focus of this magazine is the relationship between technology and work.
- Robot Mag: Robot Mag writes about robots and technology in a way that’s accessible for people from all walks of life.
- AI Magazine: Get the latest news on the robotics world with AI magazine.
- Robotic Magazine: Check out the Robot Review section of this magazine to learn about the latest creations in the world of robotics.
- Science Robotics: This journal aims to be a forum that gathers the latest information on new discoveries in robotics.
- FIRST Robotics Competition: This nonprofit provides scholarship opportunities for students who competitively build robots.
- Robot Events Guide: Find robotics competitions and events to get involved in here.
- Annual Soft Robotics Competition: Participants from all over the world gather to show off their soft robotics inventions in this competition.
- International Aerial Robotics Competition: This competition is specifically for those who work in aerial robotics.
- TETRIX Robotics Competitions: TETRIX is a building system used in this creative robotics competition.
Student Guides to Robotics
- Robot Brains: Learn about how robots “think” on this page.
- Robot Building for Beginners: Here are a few different types of simple robots that can get you started in the world of robotics.
- How Simple Sensors Work: Many different types of robots use sensors, and this article can help you understand how they work.