Career in Mechatronics and Robotics
Mechatronic and Robotics engineers work with one of the most rapidly developing industries of the modern age. They are concerned with the concept, design, development and operation of robots, whether that be robot arms in manufacturing or assistive devices for healthcare and self-driving cars or unmanned aerial vehicles for surveying crops. They are involved in the design process and solving problems from the start, whether that be using a robot to solve the problem, or producing more efficient designs for better performing robots.
For example, the engineer might be tasked with programming a robot to navigate around a person’s home while vacuuming. This requires mastery of a wide range of skills. No home is the same, and the robot will have to cope with a complex environment. Therefore it will have to use sensors to detect obstacles. The engineer will have to process this data to remove noise and determine the positions of objects. In order to clean the entire area, the robot will need to plan the shortest path that covers the space. All the time, the onboard processes will need to be managed, keeping a careful eye on whether it needs emptying and how much charge is left in the batteries. A Mechatronics and Robotics engineer is an expert across all the areas of managing how robots work in their intended environment.
These engineers are thorough system thinkers, able to look at a problem using a number of different techniques, and design solutions that satisfy complex and potentially conflicting requirements. As a rule, the engineer will have a wide array of skills — programming languages, analysis tools or building techniques . Each problem will require them to select those skills that are most suited.
A key ability is to be able to work with a wide-range of people with different skills and backgrounds. They need to be communicators and explain concepts easily whether it is to a more senior colleague during a presentation or while mentoring junior colleagues.
A degree in Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering opens many career pathways. As systems thinkers, they are very highly valued as they are adaptable and capable of solving a wide range of complex problems thinking at both high-level while retaining an eye for detail and analysis. Typically graduates go on to successful careers in manufacturing, automation, automotive engineering, aerospace, healthcare and medical technologies , and more.