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becoming a robot technician

hey, does anyone work in the field of ROBOTICS?

It seems fun, I've recently been messing around with the home brew robot kits. I can get into this! I also stumbled upon the robotics institute web page at CMU.  They offer a master's degree in ROBOTICS. Which seems cool.

However, my question is... what does someone with a master's degree in robotics actually do? I've seen dancing robots come out of japan, and that roomba device, and some guys in masachussets have this underwater robot.

But, are there many openings for specialized robot work? Or does a master's degree in robotics lead back to building intranet solutions using microsoft sharepoint and .net technologies? 

mr roboto
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I could see several possible career paths.

1. Entrepreneur
Create a device like the Roomba and sell it. I think lots of people coming out of MIT do this.

2. Manufacturing
Those robots that make cars don't make themelves... Yet.

3. Research
Get grants to explore AI and human interaction with machines.

4. Military
nuff said.

5. NASA
Anyone see that robot they sent to Mars?

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The MS in robotics is more or less a Mechanical Engineering degree but with a specialization in AI.

old_timer
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I know nothing about the field, but I'd get good money that you're much likely working in Detroit getting car body painting robots to work 1.7% more efficiently, with 4.8% less downtime.

But it's good to have a dream ;-)

Nigel
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Some college offer special robotics engineering programs that are separate from the mechanical engineering programs. I think they are hybrid mechanical engineering / control systems engineering programs.

I've known several engineers that had robotics engineering degrees. They worked in control systems engineering (i.e., creating feedback control systems for manufacturing process equipment), manufacturing engineering, and mechanical design engineering.

None of them ever worked in robotics. I don't think there's that many jobs available in the field.

Nick
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Don't forget the up-and-coming field of cybernetics.

Andrew Burton
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I should add that I live out west. I think that most domestic robotic equipment manufacturers are located in the rust belt.  So that might be why none of them found jobs in the robotics field.

Nick
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

You may be able to take inspiration from this guy,  Trevor Blackwell, http://tlb.org/

He started a robotics startup after making money with Paul Graham on Yahoo Store.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Yeah, statistically you'll wind up servicing (not even designing) industrial robots.

The MIT stuff is so cool, though.

The walking Honda robot... Ah....

I'll stop now.

Alex.ro
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

If you're artistically inclined as well as being a gearhead, you could shoot for getting a job doing animatronics.  Obviously, it's a niche field and the competition is probably quite fierce, but if you're good enough, you could work in the film industry or for amusement parks/museums.  Somebody got paid for making that Treebeard puppet for the Lord of the Rings movie.  Somebody has to make big robotic dinosaurs for museums.  Somebody's getting paid to bring characters to life as a giant robotic puppets for new attractions at Disneyworld/land, Epcot Center, Six Flags, Universal Studios, etc.  That would certainly be a way cool job to land.

Alternately, you could work in the toy industry, maybe be the person behind the latest moving & talking Elmo doll or Aibo-like robo-pet.

If that doesn't pan out, then you probably end up in working on assembly line robots for manufacturing.

Matt Latourette
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I keep reading the subject wrong and thinking "if you wrap yourself in tinfoil and talk in a mechanical voice you might be able to pull it off..."

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

You could work in manufacturing, with an emphasis on CIM systems:

http://www.intelitek.com/about/cim/

CIM
Thursday, January 15, 2004

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