Aspiring engineers have a wide range of options when choosing an ideal field of study. You can choose between civil, electrical, mechanical, computer, chemical, and industrial engineering, among many other disciples.
With the world moving more towards technology, electrical and robotics engineering have emerged as the programs of choice for many students.
After all, robots and robotic systems are now a reality, and they are part of our everyday lives.
This post compares electrical and robotics engineering, making it easier for students to choose their preferred field of study. Keep it here to find out more!
What is electrical engineering?
Electrical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the study of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
It breaks down into other sub-disciplines such as radio-frequency engineering, telecommunications, electronics, power engineering, digital computers, control systems, instrumentation, signal processing, and microelectronics.
An electrical engineering curriculum covers topics such as:
- Circuit analysis
- Digital design
- Power electronics
- Power generation
- Continuous time signals
- Discrete time signals
- Control systems
- Analog and Digital electronics
The objective of this curriculum is to turn you into a well-rounded electrical engineer rather than an expert in a particular field. If you want to specialize, you have to do a Major or a Master’s program.
What is robotics engineering?
Robotics engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on building machines and robots that imitate human actions.
It is essentially the study of designing, constructing, and operating robots and robotic systems and applications that replicate human behavior and actions.
Robotics engineering is unique because it borrows vital concepts from electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering. Aspiring robotics engineers must know the fundamentals of the above fields to perform their duties successfully.
A robotics engineering curriculum covers topics such as:
- Robotic devices and systems
- Intelligent control systems
- Biometric modeling
- Dynamic system modeling and analysis
- Sensors and signal conditioning
- Actuators and power electronics
- Computer interfacing
- Machine design
- Applied thermodynamics
Electrical vs. Robotics Engineering Compared
Electrical and robotics engineering have slight similarities but are two different fields of study. While electrical engineering focuses on electricity and electronics, robotics centers on designing electrical machines that replicate human activities.
Robotic systems have their own “brain” and use mechanical and electrical components to navigate and perform human duties.
Choosing between electrical and robotics engineering depends on your interests and preferences.
If you have a passion for electronics, electrical systems, power generation, telecommunication, and circuit designs, consider pursuing a degree in electrical engineering.
Conversely, if you are interested in robots and robotic systems and want to learn to design and create them, it is worth pursuing a degree in robotics engineering.
Also check Electrical Vs. Electromechanical Engineering.
With that said, here are a few factors to consider when choosing between electrical and robotics engineering.
Different degree programs have varying entry requirements, and both electrical and robotics engineering are not exceptions. If you want to pursue studies in either of them, you must meet the minimum qualifications stipulated by your university of choice.
To study electrical engineering, you must have a high school diploma. You must also have a solid knowledge of mathematics, physics, and other physical sciences.
Technical skills are also essential, and you must be a critical thinker with excellent problem-solving skills to become an electrical engineer.
The entry requirements for robotics engineering are almost similar. Aside from having a high school diploma, aspiring robotics engineers must display a strong performance in mathematics and physics.
You can also pursue a degree in robotics if you already have a diploma or degree in electrical engineering, computer science, or mechatronics.
Verdict: The two fields of study have similar entry requirements
Also read: Can A Mechanical Engineer Do Robotics?
Engineering is one of the most challenging fields of study, and it has one of the lowest graduation rates, considering its complexity. Electrical and robotics engineering are not any different from other engineering programs.
However, if you have the passion and you are ready to preserve and work hard, you can complete your studies without much struggle.
Success in engineering is about having a positive mindset and the drive to achieve the seemingly impossible.
With that said, robotics engineering is somewhat more complex than electrical engineering. With robotics, you have to know the core of electrical engineering, electronics, computer science, and mechanical engineering.
Verdict: Robotics engineering is more complex than electrical engineering
Scope for Innovations
The chance to innovate and invent new solutions that impact the world drives many students to study engineering. Engineers design and create various machines and applications that make the world a better place to live.
Both electrical engineering and robotics engineering have significant room for innovation. However, robotics engineering seems to have an edge compared to electrical studies.
While electrical engineering students study already known concepts, robotics focuses on developing what we already know into something better.
In any case, robots and robotic systems are now in nearly every sector, from banking to healthcare. Moreover, there is more room to invent new machines to help perform human functions.
Verdict: Robotics engineering has a broader scope for innovations
Engineers are among the highest-paid professionals. Besides, they are becoming the most sought-after as the world shifts towards science and technology.
Whether you are an electrical engineer or a robotics engineer, you can be sure of landing a lucrative job after graduating.
Electrical and robotics engineers can pursue careers in various fields, including automotive, aerospace, telecommunication, information security, manufacturing, data science, and power generation, among many other sectors.
Verdict: Both electrical and robotics engineering have excellent career prospects
Is electrical engineering the same as robotics?
No. Electrical engineering is not the same as robotics. However, robotics is a multidisciplinary field of study that combines the core concepts of electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, and mechatronics.
Robotics engineers design and develop machines and robotic systems while electrical engineers design the circuits boards and controllers that run these machines.
To become a robotics engineer, you must know these inter-related disciplines and how they work together. Many robotics engineers have degrees in electrical engineering, and they often pursue robotics through various Masters programs.
Is electrical engineering good for robotics?
Yes, electrical engineering is ideal for robotics. In any case, you must know about electrical engineering to pursue any degree program in robotics. Besides, robotics relies heavily on electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering.
Electrical engineering acts as the foundation of and stepping stone to robotics engineering. Knowledge of electronics, control theory, embedded systems, microprocessors, hydraulic systems, pneumatics, and programming can prove helpful to anyone preparing to pursue a career in robotics engineering.
In some institutions, robotics is a course under electrical engineering. Students can pursue electrical engineering and major in robotics as they progress with their studies.
Can robots replace electrical engineers?
Robots and robotic systems can never and will never replace electrical engineers. Robots are machines, and they cannot think independently in various circumstances.
Even though there are several advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, robots can only do what they have been programmed today by humans.
The aim of building robots is to assist engineers in performing repetitive tasks and not to replace them.
Robots are responsible for undertaking activities that might prove dangerous or delicate to handle, but they still require the input of humans to perform these actions.
Is robotics engineering a good career?
Robotics engineering can be a fulfilling career for people who love to innovate and invent new things. It offers you the chance to practice and experiment with your ideas and even turn them into reality through your inventions.
That’s not all. Since robotics engineering is a multidisciplinary field, robotics engineers can work in nearly every sector.
They are in great demand in healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, aerospace, automotive, and even education. The numerous opportunities create the ideal environment for career progression.
Is robotics engineering a high-paying job?
Robotics engineering is one of the most lucrative careers. Many sectors consider robotics engineers experts in their field, so it is only standard for them to earn high salaries.
Besides, the global demand for robotics engineers is rising while they remain scarce. The disparity between the demand and the availability of robotics engineers makes it a high-paying job.
Moreover, robotics engineers have many opportunities to advance their careers in various fields, including computer science, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.
If you are looking for a high-paying job, you can go where the money is from the available options.
Is robotics more mechanical or electrical?
Robotics is neither more mechanical nor electrical, but a mix of both. Some robotic systems are more mechanical, while others are more electrical. With this in mind, separating between the two becomes nearly impossible.
If you want to pursue a career in engineering, congratulations, you’ve made the right choice. Engineering is one of the most lucrative careers. However, it is not for the faint-hearted.
You must be ready to persevere and work hard, studying and practicing what you learn in school to be the best in your field.
There is no much difference between electrical engineering and robotics engineering. However, the latter is ideal for creative thinkers who want to innovate new solutions to make the world better.