Future Jobs in Robotics - Student Research Foundation

Where Are the Future Jobs in Robotics?

Many high school students have discovered that robots are fun. Some students build combat robots and enter them in slam-bang competitions. Others join high school robotics clubs and build peace-loving robots. Still other students build robots at home.

If you are a parent or educator of a robot-loving student, you might be wondering about the jobs that lie in the future for your young robot-builder. That is a good question to ask. Your young roboticist, after attending college, could find work in one of these areas.

Industrial Jobs in Robotics

Industrial robots don’t interact with humans, other than to do their bidding. For the most part, these robots are anchored in position on production lines, where they perform just one function. They do not roll around. They don’t have cute, anthropomorphic appearances. They are designed to perform functions like these:

  • Assembling electronic devices, automobiles and other products
  • Painting products of all kinds, including cars
  • Applying adhesives to product parts that will be attached together
  • Inspecting products and parts to be sure they meet design specifications and are free of defects
  • Welding of all kinds

What kinds of jobs exist in industrial robotics? A wide range, including designing robots and testing the mechanical parts that go into them. Other careers center on writing software and designing computers that control the functions that robots perform.

Warehousing and Materials Handling

These the areas where most jobs are currently being created, thanks to the growth of mega-retailers like Amazon.com and Walmart. Robots developed for these uses are often mobile and can roll from location to location. Their designs are adapted to performing specific functions, such as using suction-enabled grippers to lift inventoried items from warehouse shelves.

Warehousing robots perform a range of tasks that include:

  • Picking orders from warehouse shelves and delivering them to humans who pack them, or to automated packing areas.
  • Taking inventory and keeping warehouse stocks neatly stacked and ready to be picked
  • Unloading and loading trucks

Specialized robots in this area include computerized forklifts that place stock in correct warehouse locations. Plus, a growing range of drones are being developed to pick orders and bring them to warehouse areas where they will be packed and shipped.

What jobs exist in robotics for warehousing and materials handling? A wide range, including designing and testing robots. A second range of careers focuses on writing software and designing computers that control what robots do. Since many robots in this category must see, move, and process information flexibly, AI is very much part of the computer development in this segment.

Self-Driving Cars

When you come down to the basics, what is a self-driving car but an advanced form of robot? So chances are good that in the future, kids who love robots are going to find employment with carmakers.

So in summary . . .

Kids who love robots, and who earn appropriate engineering degrees in college, are poised to enjoy good careers in the years to come.

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