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Education And Training

A high school diploma is generally needed to be hired on an assembly line as a robot operator. Specialized training is recommended for electrical or electronic assembly, and frequently this training is provided by the robot manufacturer. Robot assemblers, programmers, and trainers would benefit from technical training in electronics and computer design. Courses in robotics are offered at some technical schools, and some apprenticeships are available. This field is changing very fast and training requirements will change, too.

Robot History

While most people think of robots as space-age creations, ancient Egyptians made mechanical figures 2,500 years ago. In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, automatons—mechanical devices built in the shapes of people—could move on their own by means of springs. Later these automatons were motorized or battery operated, but they were considered merely amusing toys.

In the mid-1950s, George Devol developed Unimate, an industrial robot that began work on an automobile assembly line. This pioneer robot ran for 100,000 hours and is now retired and on display in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Little was done in industrial robotics until the development of miniaturization and microchips in the 1990s, which made the field possible.

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