Not too long ago, robots belonged solely to the silver screen and had almost no role in our society. However, things have changed drastically over the past few years. Today, robots handle numerous tasks that were previously performed by humans – like assembling things (cars, appliances, gadgets), carrying out surgeries, etc.
Some would say this is a bad thing, as bots are replacing humans and taking away jobs. In actuality, it’s a case of ‘where one door closes, another opens’. This is because robots still need to be built, programmed and controlled – and this requires people. More specifically, people with knowledge about robotics and industrial automation.
Robotics & industrial automation refers to the use of control systems, computers and information technology in handling various processes and machinery in an industry. The ultimate aim is to replace manual labor and increase efficiency, speed, and overall performance.
Courses under robotics & industrial automation usually include part-time/full-time graduate programs, technical degrees or diplomas in manufacturing engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, and advanced manufacturing process technology. More advanced courses could also be taken on the following specializations:
• Artificial Intelligence
• Computer-aided Manufacturing
• Computer integrated Manufacturing Systems
• Robot motion Planning
• Robot manipulators
Career prospects in robotics and industrial automation are booming. According to the International Data Corporation, robotics-related services are pegged to hit $135.4 billion in 2019 in terms of worldwide spending. This is a huge amount and students who study this branch of engineering are sure to get well-paying jobs!
There is an abundance of career opportunities in India and overseas. Your work options will depend on your interest, area of specialization, skill sets and other factors. However, in general, the creation of automated systems, robotics maintenance, intelligent automation, machine learning, and artificial learning are the main areas of employment for robotics and industrial automation students.
The manufacturing sector is one of the main domains for robotics & automation students. Almost every assembly line, right from automobiles to FMCGs, depends on robots to get things done. Healthcare is another destination for robotics students as medical procedures now bank on the precision & steadiness of robots.
Robotics & automation students are also breaking into the space research domain. Organizations such as ISRO, NASA & other space agencies are hiring bright young minds to work on the robotic elements, chips and various automated system of their space crafts.
Some of the most common job descriptions for robotics & industrial automation students include:
• Engineering Technician
• Robotics Technician
• Automation Technician
• Instrumentation Technician
• Maintenance Technician
• Electro-Mechanical Technician
• Manufacturing Engineering Technologist
• Manufacturing Production Technician
There is immense scope in robotics & industrial automation. Therefore, if you are thinking about doing a course in this field, you are indeed thinking along the right lines. There are numerous colleges & universities in India and abroad that you can choose from that will give you the knowledge you need to create a future for yourself in this domain. We hope this article has been helpful. Good luck, and all the best with your studies.