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Robotics Engineering School and College Program Overviews

The field of robotics engineering involves the design, manufacture and use of movable, sometimes anthropomorphic, machines. Robotics engineering programs can be found at the associate's, master's and doctoral levels.

Essential Information

Degree programs in robotics engineering synthesize knowledge relating to mechanics, electronics and computer software to design and operate robotic devices with a variety of practical uses. In a two-year associate's degree program, students learn to operate and repair robotic machines, sometimes for a specific industry. A strong background in mathematics and science, a high degree of manual dexterity and previous mechanical experience are essential for students in associate's degree programs.

Master's and doctoral programs in robotics focus on research and engineering theory for the development of robotics technology. Doctoral programs are rare, and the few that do exist often allow students to apply after earning a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field, thereby combining their master's and doctoral work into one program. These programs may emphasize hands-on training with robotics.

Applicants to master's degree programs in robotic engineering must demonstrate mathematical aptitude, creativity and an understanding of the natural sciences. Prerequisite coursework includes undergraduate courses in physics and calculus. Doctoral programs require letters of recommendation.

Program length for master's and doctoral programs vary, but they typically include independent and collaborative research projects, as well as the completion of thesis for a master's degree and dissertation for a doctorate.


Associate's Degree in Robotics Engineering Technology

Some associate's degree programs in robotics focus on the robotics used in particular industries, such as shipping or manufacturing. Classes emphasize the technology used in several engineering disciplines, such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering.

The coursework focuses more on the operational and technical aspects of robotics engineering than on theoretical concepts. The topics mentioned below are typically covered in robotics engineering technology associate's degree programs:

  • Industrial electrical circuits
  • Mechanical systems
  • Principles of robotics
  • Troubleshooting robotic devices
  • Automation controls

Master's Degree in Robotics Engineering

Robotics engineering master's degree programs provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience designing robots. Programs often emphasize the application of computer engineering and computer science to the field of robotics. Students learn about creating robotic machines with real-world applications.

The curricula for most master's degree programs in robotics engineering focus on a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating theories and methods from several areas of engineering. Classes may include the following:

  • Robotics theory
  • Industrial applications for robotics
  • Mechatronic system analysis
  • Robotic kinematics
  • Artificial intelligence

Doctorate in Robotics Engineering

Doctoral degree program coursework in robotics engineering emphasizes the application of advanced theories related to computer software engineering, electronics and mechanics toward creating robotic devices. Students learn to use knowledge from these disciplines in order to solve complex robotics problems.

Students often complete both independent and collaborative research assignments. The subjects listed below are often covered in a doctorate program in robotic engineering:

  • Artificially intelligent robotics
  • Machine learning
  • Mathematics in robotic engineering
  • Cognition in robotics
  • Robotic sensors

Popular Career Options

Associate's degree programs in robotics prepare graduates for jobs repairing, maintaining and operating robotic equipment. Graduates often qualify for the following careers:

  • Robotic equipment troubleshooting technician
  • Machine controller
  • Quality assurance technician

Master's degree programs in robotics provide students with solid foundations in research methodology and engineering theory, preparing them for many careers in the field. Students may choose to enter the careers listed below:

  • Robot designer
  • Robotics technology researcher
  • Robotics design project manager

People who earn doctoral degrees in robotics engineering have broad and deep knowledge of several engineering areas and are qualified for a range of careers. Some popular career options are noted below:

  • University professor
  • Robotics designer
  • Engineering researcher

Individuals interested in robotics engineering may choose from three levels of education. Associate's degree programs prepare individuals for robotic operations and repair careers, while master's degree programs prepare graduates to develop and create robots. Doctoral degrees cover applications and theories of robotics engineering.

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