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The Range of Robotics Careers


Engineers apply the theories and principles of science and mathematics to solve technical problems. They provide the link between scientific discoveries – for instance, the discovery of new information storage technology – and their practical applications in everyday use – integrating that technology into existing and new systems.

Engineers design machinery, products, systems, and the processes for manufacturing them safely and efficiently. They also design the computers that control automated systems for manufacturing, businesses, and the home. Engineers are also involved in more specialized areas of design, like robotic aids for the handicapped and the robotic equipment used in outer space, on the ocean floor, for military defense, and in other nontraditional areas.

The most common specialties in robot engineering include:

Mechanical engineers: Mechanical engineers are involved with the design, manufacture, and operation of robots and automated devices. These engineers must understand all aspects of mechanical functions, from gears to motors and the hydraulic or pneumatic systems that power and move many types of robots. (Hydraulic systems use fluids in motion to generate power and movement, while pneumatic systems rely on compressed air.)

Electrical and electronics engineers: Electrical and electronics engineers are the experts in the electrical systems that power and operate robots. They design, build, and test robotic systems. They may also specialize in automation controls, laser and optical systems, sensors, power systems, or electromagnetic fields and systems.

Industrial engineers: Industrial engineers specialize in designing and building factories and industrial systems. They are experts in productivity, determining how an industrial space can be built and used in the most efficient, safe, and cost-effective way possible.

CAD/CAM engineers: CAD/CAM engineers are the experts in computer-aided design and manufacture. They oversee the computers, robots, and automated systems used in the automated industrial process. Their systems run the assembly and production lines that manufacture products, such as cars, candy, toys, and electronics.

Manufacturing engineers: Manufacturing engineers work with CAD/CAM engineers, managing the machines and the production process in a manufacturing plant.

Computer engineers: Computer engineers design the architecture and hardware of the computer systems that control robots, analyze data processing requirements, and oversee hardware and software requirements.

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