Robotics EngineerGeorge Lucas of the “Star Wars” fame is probably a robotics engineer or employs a very good one to come up with an array of robot designs in the said movie saga. Who would forget C3P0, a protocol droid who knows all languages spoken in the fictional world and R2D2, the whistling robot who have saved Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi numerous times? The remarkable thing about the robots is that they were not simply metal casings given life by special effects. In fact, a special edition book was even published containing all the engineering details of all machines robots, ships, weapons and all and, of course, this was 1977, a time when personal computers was an alien term then. Because of the richness of the engineering details, it cannot be helped thinking that George Lucas must have had help from someone whose field of specialization is robotics engineering.
Robot engineers would be the stereo-typed fat guy who wears thick-rimmed glasses with disheveled hair and a bit of a long beard. Kidding aside, robotics engineers are the ones who conceptualize robots from design to manufacturing of robots. For example, NASA would need a robot that would collect samples in Mars’ arid terrain. Given the terrain, weather, temperature of Mars, the robotics engineer would work around these given parameters to come up with a design that should cope with Mars’ harsh weather and at the same time can easily obtain soil and rock samples. The engineer would consider using the sturdiest metals so the robot would not melt and then probably would think of a design that can easily enable the robot to gallop through Mars’ rocks and sands. Probably, the engineer would also create mechanical arms that can stretch at any angles to scoop up samples without stopping in its tracks. Basically, something of this sort would be what a Robotics Engineer would do. Actually, a Robotics Engineer is one of those jobs that the saying “anything goes” really applies. Anything goes because the robot to be designed would depend on its purpose. Almost, if not all, industries could use a robot to automize their operations. Right now, most industrial companies use robots to pack, assemble and lift heavy objects a normal man would not be able to do with ease and speed. Currently, most industrial robots are simulations of the human hand or the gripper.
To be a Robotics Engineer, courses are now offered in prestigious universities as a post graduate course for electrical, mechanical and computer engineers. A word of caution though, expect the course to be laced with very high physics concepts and complex algorithms, formulas, coefficients, mathematical expressions perhaps only enrollees would get to know they exist. Also, expect a strict admittance to the course as this is not a course for everyone. Probably, those who would be lucky to be admitted are those who would get a genius rating in preliminary I.Q. tests.
Once a certified Robotics Engineer, opportunities are endless. As mentioned already, almost all industries, be it automotive, medical, semi-conductors, mining, and space exploration to name a few would be willing to pay top dollar for the services of a robotics engineer. Perhaps, as far as the saying “shoot for the moon” goes, Robotics Engineer is one of those professions that can literally use them in a sentence and mean them literally.