ted regnier

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How is the robotics and automation going to change our lives in 10 years and if anyone has taken a course how complicated is it?

How is the robotics and automation going to change our lives in 10 years and if anyone has taken a course how complicated is it? Im thinking about taking it up in school and wanted to know how you guys feel about Robotics / Automation because that is the next step tp our evolution i think in helping some of our problems that we occur on a daily bases in the coming years.

  • Nov 23 2011: Robotics will slowly assist man in becoming more efficient. However, the breadth of tasks, environments, situations, and adaptability of the human body is not soon to be replicated by a robot. It is a career direction that should provide good income for your entire working life.

    The complexity of robotics/automation is more of an assessment than material suitable for a course. I think most people would agree robotics/automation is one of the more complex subject areas. This is largely due to the need for understanding in a wide range of background subjects, such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, controls, computer science, physics, mathematics, mechatronics, systems engineering and materials science. At the undergraduate level, a degree in one of the engineering fields is pretty good preparation for a career in robotics. More specialized training development can be obtained through graduate courses and study. Typically, robotics and automation projects require many people with many specialties coming together to solve a common set of problems. Larger efforts are usually complicated enough to require a project management structure or systems engineering effort to coordinate contributions. One person building a robot is more likely something hobbyists or very high end researchers (well-funded) will do, the former for pleasure and the latter typically to prove some small area of new technology.

    The upside here is that the skills developed towards being a robotics worker are also good in many other fields. Robotics is an emerging industry that typically produces high end products with a small market. Jobs in the industry are fairly coveted, very competitive, and require a lot of training. Perhaps there will be more jobs in the future in this area, but until then, you may find yourself solving problems for another industry trying to adapt to automation and robotics technology advances instead of building robots.

    Still a good career choice however.
  • Nov 24 2011: I wanted to keep the prior comment separate from you second question. Nothing is complicated if you take it one piece at a time. The semiconductor industry is very probably the most complex manufacturing process in the world. I grew up in this world before it was taught. We invented (and learned) as we were faced with market opportunities and problems. Robotics has been around a long time and has many pieces (disciplines). Mechanical engineering, software development, modeling, and so on...pick one you like and start.....step by step.
  • Nov 24 2011: Robotics already exists all around us. A traffic light versus someone directing traffic, the processes for food and equipment production, and even in war now. The change comes as the technology continues to improve (automate). Why? It's actually very simple. It's the cost of producing something. Today, labor cost , access to ram materials, distance to market (freight cost) and tax structures dictate where something is made. China, as an example, has an advantage (lower cost labor) but would not at higher levels of mechanization. When that occurs products sold in a country (given the other factors are equal) will very probably be made in that country. It's not a short path but it's not a long one either. Bug your local congressional idiot who has not had an original idea since birth (not all but most and particularly "career politicos").....WE DO NOT HAVE A 5 YEAR PLAN LIKE MOST OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES NOR a cabinet position (20 people who think and can "do" only please) called The Office of Strategic Planning....(but change is coming).
  • Nov 23 2011: Robotics is complex technology (depending how advanced robots one is working with). Over the next few decades robotics will continue to grow in importance and application.

    You can take an introductory course to robotics at your school and see if you want to pursue it further.

    Without any knowledge of electric circuits and programming you can try to experiment with some robotic toys like Lego's NXT 2.0 robot. It has fairly basic user interface where you can create commands for the robot and run various experiments. Simpler robots are also available.

    Good luck.