Due to the nature of the subject, robotics programs can't be offered entirely through online study. However, many schools offer hybrid associate's degree programs that combine online courses with on-campus classes. These classes allow students to get the hands-on technology experience they need in order to obtain expertise in the field of robotics. Some degree programs also require that students learn through internships. Students can access online classes as their schedules permit. A specific computer model may be required. Similar programs that are offered fully online include computer science associate's degree programs. These programs teach students about various programming languages, software and networking.
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Associate's Degree in Robotics
Because robotics training requires the use of highly technical and expensive equipment, many degree programs are campus-based. However, some schools offer hybrid formats that allow students to complete a portion of their coursework online. Robotics courses at the associate's level address topics like soldering, circuits, electrostatic discharge and drive systems. Related fields of study include electrical and mechanical engineering as well as computer science.
A computer with Internet access is required for all online courses. Some schools also require students to purchase specific computer models. Streaming video and audio applications are typically used by teachers to deliver each lesson. Although the majority of class work is completed online, some courses require on-campus attendance as well as a field-based internship. An associate's degree program in robotics can be completed in 2-3 years, depending on a student's enrollment status.
Some robotics associate's programs have general education requirements, like psychology and communication. Lectures and course lessons are often stored on a school's main server, allowing students to access course content at their convenience.
AC and DC Circuits
Students examine the basic concepts behind direct current and alternating current. Topics include magnetic force, circuit resistance and transformers.
This course serves as an introduction to digital electronic theory and application. Students discuss digital circuitry, logic gates and binary code.
The devices used to form simple and complex electromechanical systems are studied. Topics include mechanical control principles, types of motors, logic controllers and robotics assembly.
Recipients of an associate's degree in robotics obtain positions as electrical or mechanical technicians. As of 2015, an electrical technician made a median salary of $61,130 per year, while mechanical technicians earned $53,910 per year, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS notes that the electrical technician field is expected to decline 2% between 2014 and 2024, while mechanical technician employment is projected to grow 2% in the same time period (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Some graduates of robotics associate's programs pursue a bachelor's degree in robotics or electrical engineering. Postbaccalaureate degrees in robotics and related fields are also popular, including master's degrees in artificial intelligence, mechanical engineering and electronic engineering. Given the cost of equipment and the necessity for hands-on training, bachelor's and master's programs are primarily campus-based.
Hybrid robotics associate's degree programs typically have courses such as electromechanical applications, DC and AC circuits and digital electronics. Graduates may become electrical or mechanical technicians, and further education is available on-campus at the bachelor's and master's degree levels.