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Career in Robotics as a Engineer

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Ever dreamed of a robot that cleaned your house, washed your car or walked the dog? People would call you a mentally retarded guy if you voiced your opinion however that is not the case today. Rapid developments have made robotic technology professions among the most exciting available to recent graduates Positions within the robotics industry generally are the different stages of the engineering process. Some engineers, for example, are responsible for the planning as to how robotics might address a problem make the process more efficient. Others apply the available engineering principles towards making of the real Robot. The robotics industry also employs a whole platoon of support staff, like testers, programmers and operators. While positions vary, some skills can be called a must for the people working in the industry. Staff, for example, need be mechanically sound. Proficiency in mathematics and physics will be helpful for the job, so does a Good knowledge of the principles involved in the field. Many in the industry also utilize vivid imagination and get solutions and also those who have tactile abilities to help with their work. So this means that there are career opportunities in robotics as well! That’s good news to those who want to get into this field. Robotics engineers design robots, maintain them, develop new applications for them, and conduct research to expand the potential of robotics. This is a rapidly developing field, with advances in computing constantly opening up new possibilities for robotics applications. The profession offers jobs for a wide range of temperaments. Visionary robotics engineers can work designing experimental mobile robots, with applications ranging from medical and military uses to designs aimed at creating vehicles capable of piloting themselves on other planets. More down-to-earth jobs involve designing new production-line robots, often with programmable arms, and maintaining and upgrading older production-line installations. Somewhere in between lay those engineers designing and producing robots for expanding but tested fields, such as self-piloting crop harvesters and automated nuclear-safety equipment.

What will you have to do as a robotics engineer?

• Design ROBOTS
• Research work on robotics applications in various fields.
• Assist engineers in the design and application of robot systems
• Inspect electronic components involved in production of robot’
• Test robots for defects after manufacturer's assembly
• Install robots or robot systems where required
• Install robot safety systems
• Provide assistance to users, including fine robots
• Program robot for series of moves manually or by electronic instructions to a microprocessor or by setting up kinetic suits
• Modify computer-controlled motion of robots
• Trouble shoot to determine robot malfunctions, using knowledge of microprocessors, programmable controllers, electronics, circuit analysis, mechanics, hydraulics, and pneumatics
• Disassemble robots and/or peripheral equipment like circuit boards, sensors, controllers, encoders, servomotors, servo valves, or automatic lubrication systems
• Reassemble robots
• Train other technicians to operate, program, repair, and service robots
• Keep records of test procedures and results, service schedules, repairs, etc

Future of Robotics

Did you ever think of the Future of Robotics? What will it really be like? Will Science Fiction become reality? If not how close will they come? Will robots take over every aspect of human life? Also will robots be the only things that work on our planet will robots be making robots? Which sectors will we see robots dominate in? Will we see more? Yes! The following fields are just some examples

• Robots in Commerce – Retail, Services, Fields,
• Robots in the home – Maids, Washing Car, Doing Chores, Mowing the Lawn,
• Robots in Security – Guards, Guard Dogs, Bomb Sniffers, Bomb Squads,
• Robots to the Rescue – FEMA, Earthquake, Hurricanes, Wild Fires
• Robots for the Weather and Environment – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
• Robots in Transportation – Light Rail, Cars, Aircraft
• Robots in Distribution – Trains, Warehouses
• Robotic Androids – Assistants, Mentors, Educators
• Robots and Artificial Intelligence – Thinking Machines and Systems
• Robots in the Military – Smart Munitions, Net-Centric Systems, UAVs

So we can clearly see that there is more work to be done hence a good scope in the future also Till now we have seen as to how promising the robotics industry is but what will make you get a piece of the cake?

You might have heard that robotics is a Multidisciplinary field. What you have heard is true to 100% so, let’s go into the details as to why is it referred as multidisciplinary field

What makes Robotics Multidisciplinary?

Multidisciplinary sounds BIG right well, it is! Let’s take an example to make you understand more easily the problem presented to you is to build a small scale humanoid robot (bipedal) what would you start out with? The first part would be the walking mechanism here you will need to be in the shoes of a mechanical engineer then think about how will you achieve walking then after coming up with the design calculate the different forces on it then trying to counter balance each force so that the Bot doesn’t fall then the torque required to make it get going correctly until here you finish off with the mechanical Engineer part now the electrical engineer in you should come up. You’ll now need to calculate the power consumed by the motors, regulate the current to as required then designing the control circuitry , some sort of communication mechanism , interface it to microcontrollers then the Computer Science side of you should code the whole thing to perform as per the requirements. There will be people who do all these separately but the key factor is having strong foundations in at least two of the branches for if you know only one part you will not be able to meet the needs of the other two for example you have designed the mechanical frame work but the high electrical consumption will make the Bot in functional then you will have to come up with an innovative solution in such cases you will need more background in the other subject just for the sake of another example let’s consider we are having some errors in the electrical or mechanical part then it will be about the code designed by the computer Engineer that would make it efficient but to achieve that again you will have need to have some good Knowledge in the electrical and mechanical part and robotics is all about such cases !

What do we need to get into Robotics?

First of all INTEREST in what you want to do! Then of course a degree and sufficient knowledge to go with your interest here comes in the need for education!


Robotics in INDIA

It seems that now a day’s even India is getting the hang of robotics. The numbers of robots in 2006 were 256 but as of now there are 1071 which might not be much when compared to other companies but a significant figure for the late entry of India

Robotics Courses in India

Though there is not much in store for education in robotics as of now there are many M.Tech and Post graduate level options available in some premier institutes across India I will cover up a few details. You might have a doubt as to what should you do at B.Tech level? That is up to you! you should decide based on your interest as to if you want to be more mechanically involved or like taking up new problems and making Codes that can solve them or an electrical engineer to make additional things required by the Robot besides that you will also need to improve your skills in the other two also by doing additional homework! And then you will get your fundamentals strong so that you can then get into the Actual thing by getting Specialization in your choice of robotics (M.Tech) if possible try to get a B.Tech in Mechatronics as it falls closest to Robotics, but the sad part is none of the Seven IIT’s provide Bachelors Degree in Mechatronics ! But there are some other institutes

List of colleges offering B.Tech Mechatronics engineering courses

College Name - University(State)
Bharath University - Bharath Institute of Higher Education & Research(Tamil Nadu)
Maharishi Markandeshwar Engineering College - Maharishi Markandeshwar University(Haryana)
Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy - Shanmugha Arts Science Technology and Research Academy (SASTRA) University
(Tamil Nadu)
Sri Belimatha Maha Sahamsthana Institute Of Technology - Visvesvaraya Technological University (Karnataka)
Srm University,chennai - SRM University(Tamil Nadu)
Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology - CBIT(A.P)
Manipal University - Manipal University (Karnataka)
GCET - GCET (Gujarat)
Sardar Patel University - Sardar Patel University(Gujarat)

There are many more this is just a small list to get you thinking...

Having a B.Tech degree in Mechatronics will be able to help you i.e. you will have no need to again try out the other parts of robotics as both Mechanics and Electronics will be involved in this branch of engineering

M.Tech in Robotics:-

Though you finished B.Tech in Mechatronics it doesn’t mean that you are good enough to be a Robot Engineer .You will need additional qualification i.e. Specialisation in the field of robotics So, you have to get a Postgraduate from a college in Robotics. Again here also there is some bifurcation like design and control, Artificial intelligence, Maintenance, computer vision and machine learning etc. Some of the Engineering colleges in India offer M.Tech in robotics besides you can also opt for other foreign institutes like MIT, CMU etc if you think they will fit into your pocket (* you will need a Plethora of ATM’s to pay their fees but if talented you could manage to get some Scholarships from somewhere and make it up to those colleges but I bet you not a single penny of your will go waste for the research facilities they offer!
Institutes Offering M.Tech in Robotics (INDIA ONLY)

• The Centre for Robotics and Mechatronics at IIT-Kanpur offers a master’s programme in Robotics Engineering.
• Jadavpur University, Kolkata – 700032, offers M.E. Robotics.
• The University of Hyderabad offers M.Tech. In Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
• University College of Engineering under Osmania University, Hyderabad, offers M.E. / M.Tech. In Automation and Robotics.
• M.S. University, Baroda, conducts a master’s programme with specialisation in automation control and robotics.
• The Institute of Technology under the Banaras Hindu University conducts M.Tech. Production Engineering/ Industrial Management Engineering with Robotics and Automation as electives.
• Thapur Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala- 147004, conducts M.E. in CAD/ CAM and Robotics.
• The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani - 333031, offers M.E. in Computer Science with robotics as a subject.
• Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Prasanthi Nilayam offers M.Tech. Computer Science with specialisation in artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is defined as the ability of an artificial mechanism to exhibit intelligent behaviour. It is closely associated with robotics.
• PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, conducts M.Tech. Mechanical with robotics as an elective subject.
• SRM institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur, Kancheepuram district, offers M.Tech. Robotics.
• The Department of Electronics under the Cochin University of Science and Technology offers M.Sc. Electronic Science with specialisation in artificial intelligence, robotics, microwave electronics and computer technology. First-class B.Sc. degree holders with not less than 60 per cent aggregate marks in electronics / computer science / physics (with electronics) are eligible for admission. Selection is based on CUSAT-CAT.
• SASTRA, Thanjavur, affiliated to Bharatidasan University, offers a course in artificial intelligence at the Bachelor of Engineering degree-level.

Links

1. The Centre for Robotics and Mechatronics at IIT-Kanpur - http://www.iitk.ac.in/robotics/
2. Jadavpur University - http://www.jadavpur.edu
3. University of Hyderabad - http://www.uohyd.ernet.in
4. Osmania University, Hyderabad - http://www.uceou.edu
5. M.S. University, Baroda - http://www.msubaroda.ac.in
6. Banaras Hindu University - http://www.bhu.ac.in
7. Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning - http://www.sssihl.edu.in
8. PSG College of Technology - http://www.psgtech.edu
9. SRM institute of Science and Technology - http://www.srmuniv.ac.in
10. Cochin University of Science and Technology - http://www.cusat.ac.in
11. SASTRA - http://www.sastra.edu
12. (BITS), Pilani - http://www.bits-pilani.ac.in
13. Thapur Institute of Engineering and Technology - http://www.thapar.edu

There might be other colleges these are some of the Premier institutes in India.

M.Sc/MS Abroad?

The first thing you need to think of is the financial burden! It’s a fact that many students even in their own country can’t afford those institutes. So, the first thing you’ll need to think is whether you can afford your Education! of course there will be a number of financial options provided by the different banks in India and abroad also the colleges themselves offer some financial assistance nevertheless there will still be some financial problems once you decided that you are sound enough to make it or get lucky with some Scholarships then you’ll need to take some examinations like GRE , IELTS etc even you will need some excellent recommendations from eminent faculty and also work done by you to get into those universities . For more details about the Course expenses there is detailed information on the website’s of all the institutes from food to bed everything is neatly explained. Having said this ill now give out some names of the colleges offering Robotics as a subject abroad.

List of Colleges offering Robotics as a Subject abroad.

MIT
Harvard University - United States
KING'S College London (University OF London)
Stanford University
University of Michigan
Carnegie Mellon University
Purdue University
Indiana University-Purdue University
Indiana State University
University of Pennsylvania
Staffordshire University
University of Southern California
Manchester Metropolitan University
University of Hertfordshire
Ivy Tech State College
University of West Florida

I’ll not go into the details of these colleges it is easily available on their respective website in a clean way covering every minute aspect of their programmes.

Part time robotics courses?

There are not many course but if you don’t find time to practically try making Robots at B.Tech level then you could try out a workshop but beware most workshop don’t try to impart any technical knowledge just throw a readymade bot at you (they call it a KIT! phew!) first confirm about their program agenda and their staff’s methodology don’t end up paying them just because you need a certificate they don’t matter much all that matter is what you know

Also recently The Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) recently started an online course for robotics technician Robotics Technician Training & Certification (Distance Education) and RSCA is a well known certification company.

Career Prospects in India

Though it’s said that there is not much in store for a career in robotics in India it’s not true! There are companies looking to develop Robotics in Indian even the recent Boom in automobile industry has bought many production line automation robots to India also there are indicant companies trying to explore the field of robotics I would therefore say its currently a growing industry and needs some professionals and their commitment to jumpstart into Robotics which is a good thing for you! I will list a few prospective employers in India.

Robotics companies in India

PARI (Precision Automation Robotics India Limited):-
This is an Indian company involved with robotics in industrial automation with its office somewhere near the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway .The following is an excerpt from their website
“PARI, a leading supplier of robotics and automation seeks individuals with core competencies in electrical, mechanical or controls. The industrial automation field is growing at an exceptionally rapid rate. The opportunity for professional development is limitless. If you would like to work with a technologically advanced company in a fast paced challenging environment contact us today.
PARI is looking for experienced as well as entry level (fresh) talent. PARI provides training courses for its fresh joiners, with a stipend and employment commitment. “
Link: - http://www.parirobotics.com/careers_a.html

ABB:-

ABB operations in India include 14 manufacturing facilities. Customers are served through an extensive countrywide presence with more than 23 marketing offices, 8 service centres, 3 logistics warehouses and a network of over 550 channel partners. The ABB Group is increasingly leveraging the Indian operations for projects, products, services, engineering and R&D.
Career prospects: - go look at it by yourself there is clearly charted out information about the employment opportunities provided by them here is the link: - http://www.abb.co.in/cawp/inabb511/6...2571f5004524a8

Tata:-

Yes the makers of Nano make robots too!!! Tata Advanced Systems is into Defence and Robotics.
Career prospects:-
http://www.tataadvancedsystems.com/section.aspx?mId=4

Kuka Robotics:-

Yet again another company involved in industrial robots it is a German based company and makes multiple axis robots that can have attachments like welding or painting gear or just act like pick and place robots. They also promise excellent research opportunities .Get in touch is what they say about career opportunities with them. http://www.kuka-robotics.com/india/en/company/career/

Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz Limited (HRSL):-

Looks like these people forayed much deeper into robotics their ranges of innovations include the categories of machine vision, defence robotics, UAV’s, humanoids and industrial robotics. They even succeeded in making India’s first assault vehicle telecontrolled i.e. remotely operable. They have clearly listed their requirements as Engineer R&D (Industrial Robotics) - Project Leader MVS & Automation (Electrical) - , Engineer MVS & Automation (Electrical, Team Leader/ Project Leader Robotics & AI, Engineer Robotics & AI. http://www.hitechroboticsystemz.com/careers.asp

DiFACTO Robotics and Automation:-

This is a more service oriented company. They offer robot simulation, off-line and shop-floor programming of robots, on-site robot implementation, robot cell calibration, industrial robot training and system design and consultancy services. That means you will have to work as a robot technician. http://www.difacto.com/careers.html

Defence Robotics:-

Does the mention of UAV’s, UCAV’s and Combat Robotics excite you? Well unlike popular belief there is a lot going on in India. Though we do not many field deployed robotics solutions like some Countries. We do have Robotics being built for the kill. DRDO has a whole arsenal of robots to tackle various situations and problems.
DRDO also whole institutes dedicated to building intelligent systems and Robots. The Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) is a laboratory of the DRDO. Established in October 1986. Its research focus was initially in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, and Control systems.
Also there is no feeling like doing what you love and for your country.
To join DRDO you have to clear their all India Exams.

ISRO too has some robotics Initiative in the field of space robotics.
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Comments

  1. mcufreak's Avatar
    Thanks for wonderful information. I think its very much valuable for students and new comers .
  2. roboanil's Avatar
    very helpful
    Updated 06-30-2012 at 05:45 PM by roboanil
  3. krishravikish's Avatar
    wonderful information
  4. anirudhkris's Avatar
    really useful info !!!
    can you please suggest the companies i could approach for an internship ???

    thanks a lot
  5. rvijay435's Avatar
    Several start-up companies are there.
    JAY ROBOTIX Pvt. Ltd. is one of them.