The Range of Robotics Careers
The Field Of Robotics, Engineers, Technicians And Specialists
Science remains decades away from the creation of robots that look, act, and think like human beings, but the goal of robotics has never really been to replicate humans. Rather, the goal is for robots to assist humans in their endeavors.
Robotics has evolved into a popular hobby that has spawned shelves of how-to books and aisles of home kits that allow anyone to build robots – ranging from simple, single-function devices to more complex machines capable of performing a variety of tasks. Dozens of competitions are held every year that allow students to demonstrate their skills as robotics engineers by designing and building working robots. Prizes, including scholarships, are often awarded to the winning amateur engineers.
A strong indication of the popularity robotics has achieved was the Comedy Central cable network program BattleBots (2000–2002), in which teams of competitors constructed fighting robots out of a junk pile of parts and sent them into battle to determine which team had created the superior machine. A BattleBots IQ National Competition, started by the producers of the TV program in 2001, is still held annually at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Judges include high-ranking government education officials and NASA and military engineers.
“The student robot builders of today are the innovators of tomorrow,” BattleBots IQ CEO Nola Garcia said about the entrants in the 2005 competition, as quoted in an article on DanceWithShadows.com. “You can see inventing better robots as a metaphor for inventing better lives; these students definitely exhibit the skills and attitudes that they need for future success, and will be leaders in the fields of science and engineering.”
Whether your interest in robotics is sparked by science fiction or hands-on experience, this area of technology demands individuals who are both smart and creative. It requires not only knowledge of math, science, engineering, and the computer sciences, but also the imagination to see beyond that which has already been achieved in order to make the imaginative leap to the next technological level.
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