Robotics EngineersIntroduction The word “robot” comes from the Czech word “robota,” which means “drudgery”. Robots are specifically made to do work that humans can’t, such as moving hot metal or exploring Mars. Over time, robots have evolved to make our lives even easier. For example, these machines can clean your house or tell you what the weather is like. However, these robots don’t make themselves. The people who are changing the world as we know it are robotics engineers. Robotics engineers make the world a brighter place by designing the technology of the future. History Of Career It might be hard to believe, but robots have been around since ancient times. The first robot was built in 400 B.C. by Archytas of Tarentum. He made a mechanical bird called “The Pigeon” out of wood to study how birds fly. Without his discoveries, we might not have robots today. Another important invention was made by Leonardo da Vinci. In 1495, he built a robotic knight that could sit, stand, and walk for a pageant in Milan, Italy. This invention spread the word about robots, and more people began to experiment with them. “The Duck” was invented by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1738. It was an extremely complex robot with over 400 different parts, and scientists still don’t know the purpose of the machine. This invention further advanced the study of robots. Nikola Tesla developed a remote-control boat in 1898. It was one of the first machines to use radio waves. Without Tesla’s invention, we might not be able to listen to the radio today. Even though robots were invented in ancient times, they are still being developed today. Engineers have made robots that look, feel, and act like animals. Robotic prosthetics are rapidly changing the medical field. There are even humanoid robots that can walk, talk, and interact with people. All of these machines are making the world a much better place, one step at a time. Interesting People People all over the world, from many different time periods have shaped robotics. As mentioned before, Archytas with “The Pigeon” made the career take flight. Leonardo da Vinci spread the word about robots with the robotic knight. In 1961 the first programmable robot was invented. The robot, Unimate, which was invented by George Devol, moved extremely hot metal in a factory. This invention sparked ideas for new robots all around the world. There are many people today who are still developing the future of robotics. Melonee Wise, head of Unbounded Robotics, designed UBR-1, a very high-tech robot which performs household tasks such as unloading the dishwasher, getting drinks, setting the table, and much more. UBR-1 is one of the most advanced robots ever, and it will surely be the base for bigger and better inventions. Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, for MIT Media Lab, built Leonardo. Leonardo is a humanoid high-tech robot that will shape the future of robotics and make the world a better place.Responsibilities And Working Conditions There are many responsibilities involved with a career in robotics. The engineers must perform maintenance on robots, including installation and fixing hardware problems. Data is an important part of this career. Robotics engineers constantly record and interpret data from the robots. Also, engineers must be able to think outside the box to fix problems and create new technology. Finally, robotics engineers often test robots and supervise other engineers to ensure everything is running smoothly. The working conditions in this career are mainly positive, depending on where the workplace is. People in this career work with technology, including computers and robots, on a daily basis. Common workplaces for this career are offices, laboratories, and manufacturing plants. Depending on their specific jobs, robotics engineers may be sitting, standing, or a mix of both. Robotics engineers may need to work outside occasionally, but the majority of their work is done indoors. In some workplaces, it may be very loud, especially in manufacturing plants. The average work time is 40 hours per week, but robotics engineers may need to work overtime to meet deadlines.Degree Or Training The lowest amount of education needed to be a robotics engineer is a bachelor’s degree. On average, four years of college are needed to get this degree. Classes that are usually offered include unified robotics, physics, calculus, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial robotics. People who receive this degree usually receive lower pay than those with higher education. Depending on the specific job that a robotics engineer would like to do, they can decide which degree is right for them. A Master’s degree is the next step up from a bachelor’s degree. To get this degree, around 5-7 years of college are needed. This degree builds on basic robotics knowledge. The future engineer may choose a specific career path, such as robotics theory, healthcare robotics, or aerospace robotics, to narrow down their class choices. General classes include foundation of robotics, robot dynamics, mathematical algorithms, and social implications of technology. If the student chooses a specific career path, they can take additional classes that will help them in their chosen field.High School Preparation There is a lot that future engineers can do before they get to college. Many high schools offer electives such as computer science or electronics classes. To prepare for college, a student should take as many advanced math and science classes as possible. Outside of school, a student could participate in an educational robotics program or take online programming classes. The future engineer could also practice important skills for the career such as working hard, teamwork, and meeting deadlines.Wages The wages for a robotics engineer depends on how many years of experience that the engineer has. The average U.S. salaries increase as the years of experience increase. If an engineer has less than five years of experience, they will make about $77,000 or less per year. If they have 5-10 years of experience, they might make around $92,000 per year. 10-20 years of experience will allow the engineer to make $95,000 per year. A very experienced engineer with 20 years or more of experience will make upwards of $100,000 per year.Growth Rate The growth rate for careers in this field is slowly moving upwards. From 2004-2017, there was a slight decline or no change in the job openings. However, in 2018, there are 55,790 expected job openings in the U.S. The openings are projected to increase by 5% per year for at least the next 5 years. The top states for job openings are New Mexico, Wisconsin, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Utah.Schools For A Degree There are many great colleges for robotics engineers in the U.S. For example, Carnegie-Mellon University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has one of the best robotics programs worldwide. Tuition rates for this college on average are $41,371 per year. The University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, costs $22,364 per year on average. This university is known for their hands-on experience in labs. Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, has tuition rates at $29,580 per year on average, and it offers a spectacular higher education program, where you can get higher certifications than a bachelor’s degree.Conclusion In conclusion, robotics engineers are making the world a better place one step at a time. Even in ancient times, people were making new inventions to make their lives easier. They knew that they could make the world a better place if they tried. Today, robotics engineers are designing new technology and constantly improving on past inventions. Robotics engineers are changing the world as we know it, and shaping the future before our eyes.