What is a Robotics Engineer?

A Robotics Engineer is a specialized type of Engineer. Also known as: Automation Engineer, Robotics and Automation Engineer, Automation Robotics Engineer.

A robotics engineer is a behind-the-scenes designer, who is responsible for creating robots and robotic systems that are able to perform duties that humans are either unable or prefer not to complete. Through their creations, a robotics engineer helps to make jobs safer, easier, and more efficient, particularly in the manufacturing industry.

Find your compatibility

Would you make a good robotics engineer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

Take the career test

What does a Robotics Engineer do?

A robotics engineer will spend the majority of their time designing the plans needed to build robots. They also design the processes necessary for the robot to run correctly. Some of these professionals are also responsible for designing the machines that actually assemble the robots. Once the design phase has been completed, only then do they move toward assembling the unit.

This type of engineer is responsible for creating several different types of robots that are used to complete a variety of different tasks. Prior to a robot being constructed, the engineer will have first researched and determined exactly what the robot will be used for, and the manner in which it will accomplish its goal. For these professionals, the building process will take a great deal of time. Robots are highly technical and difficult to create, and the task can be very tricky. For this reason it's not uncommon for a robotics engineer to only work on a handful of projects throughout his or her entire career. Professionals in this field need to be very patient.

Typical day-to-day duties include:

  • Building, configuring, and testing robots
  • Designing software systems to control their robotic systems, such as those robots used for manufacturing
  • Designing automated robotic systems that are used to increase the production and precision levels within a specific industry
  • Analyzing and evaluating the prototypes and robotic systems they have created. This is generally a never-ending task, since technology is constantly changing and advancing
  • Reviewing and approving cost estimates and design calculations
  • Serving as technical support for the robotic systems they have created
  • Teaching plans paths to robots
  • Performing research into the design, operation and performance of robotic mechanism components or systems

How to become a Robotics Engineer

In order to work as a robotics engineer, an individual will first need to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering. Courses in robotics typically include general training in pneumatics and hydraulics, numerically controlled systems, CADD/CAM systems, integrated systems, logic, and microprocessors. Since robotics technology relies heavily on the expertise of several engineering disciplines, engineers who specialize in robotics will typically have degrees in electrical, manufacturing, industrial, electronic, or mechanical engineering.

It will typically take four to five years to complete a bachelor's degree. Most major universities and colleges will have an engineering department. Some colleges even offer engineering programs specially geared towards robotics. Depending on the college or university, they may allow students to complete work-study programs in order to receive on-the-job training while working towards earning their degree.

For upper-level positions within the industry, a master's or doctorate level degree is required. In order to remain abreast of new changes and developments within the industry, working robotics engineers will still need to continually update their technical knowledge. This requirement is generally satisfied by annual conferences, seminars, and training sessions.

In addition to the engineering component, professionals in this industry also need to be well versed in the areas of electronics, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The ability to effectively communicate, both orally and in writing, is also essential to being successful in this field.

Videos

Jobs

Location
Title Company Location Info

Further Reading

  • 10 Questions for a Robotics Engineer: Lonnie Love

    From mesofluidics and hydraulics to solar photovoltaics and biogeneration, Dr. Love discusses his innovative approaches to advancing robotics, clean energy technology and nanomaterials.

  • Robotic Engineering Careers

    Robotics engineers design robots and develop the programs and applications that allow them to function.

  • Career Profiles of NASA Robotics Engineers

    What's the best way to become a robotics expert? Scientists and engineers at NASA reveal how their career paths led to the world of robotics.

  • How To Become a Robotics Engineer

    The majority of people have merely grown up with fantasies about the possibility of robots doing humanity's bidding. With the creativity and engineering concepts from Robotics Engineers, this fantasy has become a reality in a handful of industries such as in the manufacturing sector.

Similar Careers

×