This can be attributed to a wide range of different factors, including an increased demand across industries as organizations look to automate as many important-yet-repetitive processes as possible. The same source mentioned above indicated that more than 250,000 industrial robots are in use in production environments across the United States alone – a trend that shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Yet at the same time, it’s important to understand that these industrial robots are not meant to replace human employees at all. Rather, they’re designed to supplement them – to allow them to do more with less, all while creating safer and more productive environments at the same time.
All of this is to say that there will always be a need for people who have the skills and the expertise necessary to work with these robots. Robotics education will continue to be important over the next decade, and to that end there are a number of key trends that organizations will need to be aware of moving forward.
The Future of Human and Robotic Collaboration
One of the major trends taking place as students enter the robotics industry actually comes down to the intersection between robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. More and more, the robotics industry is in need of professionals who can integrate these concepts together – creating robots that aren’t just more effective at their jobs, but that are also capable of working alongside human employees as safely as possible.
A major example of this idea in action is taking place in the medical sector, where robots are being used for more sophisticated tasks like remote surgery on a regular basis. Here, qualities like accuracy and repeatability are of paramount importance. The only way to get to that point is to create robots that literally get better at their programmed tasks the more often they’re able to do them, which is exactly what artificial intelligence and machine learning are all about.
Another major trend playing out as students enter the robotics industry has to do with an increasing emphasis on concepts like 3D printing. Here, students need to not only gain a better understanding of research and development (as 3D printing requires a fair amount of experimentation depending on the application), but they’ll also need to be intimately familiar with things like sensors, controls and motor systems as well.
Students who are able to prioritize these types of skills during their education will have a world of opportunities available to them during graduation. It will not only make them more competitive in terms of finding work as designers, but it will also open the door to a career in robotics engineering as well.
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