How to choose career in Robotics?
!! Robotics, The ultimate road ahead of human species!!
Robotics has been fascinating the mind-set of human species in the last century. It has redefined the way humans have been advancing their lives. The word “robota” meaning work was coined by Czech playwright and author Karl Capek in 1921. Seemingly, today robotics is defining every aspect of human life and how humans are shaping the future of the world and universe at large.
First generation robotics was about automation of mechanical structure performing ordinary functions meant for humans. With the advent of electricity and electronics, programmable manipulators referred as industrial robots performing dull, difficult, dirty and dangerous tasks laid the foundation for industrial revolution and manufacturing industries. This era is referred as second generation robotics. The third generation of robotics started with development of computing platforms like microprocessors, microcontrollers and reconfigurable computing devices. The fast computing devices resulted in the growth of domestic robotics and completely automated the functioning industries by performing adventurous, augmentative, and adaptive tasks not feasible for humans.
The fourth generation robotics based on artificial intelligence, machine learning and self-learning systems coupled with rapid advancement in miniaturization of devices, sensors, driver systems, and actuators have resulted in lighter, smarter and intelligent systems. Space travel, deep sea exploration, defense vehicles, drones, medical surgery, domestic life and entertainment have been transformed by intelligent robotics systems.
The fifth generation of robotics combines reconfigurable mechanical structures like transformers, biology inspired systems and materials like cyborgs, intelligent integrative humanoids, and material science to replicate not just functionality of living things like humans but also extending the capabilities which were not possible decades ago. The real reason behind the human progress is to be defined by convergence of information technology, biotechnology, cognitive technology and material technology.
Currently, there has been drastic change in Information Technology (IT) and IT Enabled Service (ITES) Industry wherein self-learning systems and machine learning are slowly replacing service professionals. These small steps are the reflections of how the future industry would work like. Combined with digital and automated manufacturing systems, Robotics and Aritifical Intelligence will reshape the coming decades similar to what has been done with regard to wireless communication industry (mobile phones) and its implications on society at large.
The recent breakthroughs in brain machine interfaces and the ease of transferring information between a digital system and living brain in tandem with virtual reality in a two way communication system provides capabilities for the human species to explore space and time as never before.
Figure 1: Multidisciplinary aspect of Robotics
For an aspiring student who has genuine interest to design and built robots one can take different paths to achieve the goal. First and foremost one must have solid foundation in basic engineering like electronics, communication, mechanical and information technology. Based on this basic knowledge one can start building their career. Since Robotics and artificial intelligence are multidisciplinary fields it’s better to specialize in one domain like programming skills, embedded system development, basic discrete electronics, or wireless communication systems or reconfigurable mechanical system. But the basic requirement is to have good understanding of formal science that is mathematics and logic. Being master of one field and jack of couple other fields allows an engineer to be not just being skilled labourer but also knowledgeable and creative. In the current changing scenario in the Information Technology, Manufacturing, transportation systems and mobile computing industries, Machine learning and mobile communication based hand held devices are totally transforming the working environment. This requires additional understanding of Artificial intelligence (AI).
Please do follow up with the article on intelligent systems to understand more about AI.
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