If you are studying to be a mechanical engineer or you are a mechanical engineer, you may have an interest in pursuing robotics.
But you may worry that a mechanical engineer cannot easily become a robotics engineer.
In this guide, you will find out if and how mechanical engineers can do robotics.
Mechanical engineers can do robotics easily as a specialization in their undergraduate degree or as a focus in their master’s degree.
Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical systems, machines, and equipment.
Robotic engineers design, develop, and test robots.
Accordingly, a background in mechanical engineering can help you understand robotic engineering.
In particular, as a mechanical engineer, you may be interested in the physical structure of robots, their material composition, heat transfer techniques, manufacture, or in the design and integration of parts such as sensors, and navigation.
Want to learn about other opportunities for mechanical engineers?
- Mechanical engineers can work in petroleum.
- Mechanical engineers can turn into aerospace specialists.
- Mechanical engineers can work in renewable energy.
Robotics has become an important part of mechanical engineering as companies are increasingly moving towards automation.
Advanced automation requires a knowledge of robotic engineering, even if you are working as a mechanical engineer.
Naturally, mechanical engineering also has many sub-branches including robotic engineering.
However, robotics specialists study topics related to mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, and programming.
If you go into robotics as a mechanical engineer, you may only work on mechanical aspects but if you pursue robotics engineering, you can acquire knowledge in all these spheres as applied to robots.
Robotics encompasses various spheres of engineering , and the robotic industry may require different types of engineers with specializations in robotics.
Necessary engineering roles in robotics include:
- Mechanical engineers
- Electrical engineers
- Mechatronics engineers
- Software engineers
- Hardware engineers
- Machine learning engineers
- Materials engineers
- Systems engineers
- Research and development engineers
- Design engineers
- User experience (UX) engineers
- 3D printing engineers
- Algorithm engineers
- Data scientists
- Robotics technicians
There are many excellent youtube channels for robotics engineering.
You may enjoy any of the following:
- Learning Robotics and Electronics Basics: If you would like to learn the fundamentals of building a robot, this YouTube channel may become a favorite. The narrator, Bucky, put together a comprehensive package of tutorials aimed at introducing you to the the world of robotics.
- How To Mechatronics: Mechtatronics is a mix of electrical and mechanical engineering. On this channel, a mechatronics engineer, Dejan, shows you exactly how he builds his electronics and robotics projects.
- Universal Robots: Do you want to see robots in action? This channel displays how universal robotics are advancing automation.
- SparkFun: SparkFun is an excellent channel to learn how to engineer robots and how to program robots. They have various playlists dedicated to particular topics, allowing you to narrow down your interests easily.
- EEVblog: Learn about mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, and robotic engineering in one fun place.
If you prefer to learn robotics engineering online, you can take partial programs or complete some courses online.
You may find online courses particularly beneficial if you have already completed an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, as it allows you to accomplish robotics coursework on your own time.
But unfortunately, it is rare to find a complete robotic engineering program online.
A large portion of these programs deal with hands-on work and projects.
That said, there are some excellent online courses for robotics that may satisfy partial credits or allow you to obtain certificates.
A few of the best online courses for robotics include:
- University of Pennsylvania Robotics Specialization: In this six-month introductory course, you will learn robotic movement, perception, sensor systems, navigation, and complex task completion. You can receive a certificate at the end of this course.
- University of Pennsylvania Aerial Robotics: Flying robots and drones are quickly becoming the future. In this short, four-week course, you will learn how engineers create aerial robots and what challenges they solve. You can receive a certificate at the end of this course.
- Deep Learning AI AI for Everyone: If you wish to take an introductory, non-technical robotics and AI course, this is the perfect choice. It shows you what AI is, how AI projects come together, and how AI helps companies and society at large.
If you already graduated from mechanical engineering, you have an excellent foundation for studying robotics.
You can either acquire certifications through specialized courses or pursue a master’s degree in robotic engineering.
If you choose to complete supplementary courses, you need to take these classes:
- Fundamentals of robotics
- Control system analysis and design
- Signals and systems theories
- Neutral networks and deep learning
- Research and design.
You may not need to take basic engineering classes, math, or physics as you already completed these in your mechanical engineering degree.
If you choose to acquire a master’s degree, you can specialize in one aspect or a few aspects of robotic engineering.
Learn more: Do Mechanical Engineers Study Quantum Mechanics?
Most students choose to start with mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or computer science as a lead into the robotics industry.
You may like to focus on mechanical engineering if you wish to work on the physical design of a robot.
On the other hand, you may prefer electrical engineering if you would rather have a large hand in the components of the robot.
Furthermore, if you wish to design and develop how a robot thinks and acts, you may like computer science.
In general, it is easier to transition from mechanical engineering and electrical engineering into robotics as you already take a large portion of the fundamental courses.
Since robotics encompasses many different aspects of engineering, you have the opportunity to work in a very intriguing industry.
Likewise, since this field is rapidly developing and evolving, you have the chance to be at the forefront of advancement and change.
Whether you decide to take robotic certificates or choose to obtain a robotics engineering degree, you can find an important position in nearly every company looking towards the future of tech.