Online Schools for Robotics: How to Choose

When selecting an online school to study robotics, it is important to consider different factors such as subject areas and flexibility. Take a look at two different schools to decide which program will work best for you.

How to Select an Online Robotics School

Students considering online robotics schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Robotics is a discipline used commercially for automating manufacturing processes and in research and development for testing new products and developing comprehensive solutions to complex problems. While online programs from several different disciplines touch on robotics, degrees specifically in robotics are rare, and fully online options do not exist at all. Students should also be aware that in most cases, fully online degrees with robotics components are only available at the master's level.

Area of Focus

Because robotics is not so much its own discipline as a melding of several other disciplines, those who wish to study robotics will have to approach their chosen subject area by first studying one of the parent disciplines, such as engineering, electronics or computer science. Online programs with robotics components normally center in one of these parent disciplines. These programs are available at colleges and universities in online format.

Degree Flexibility and Scheduling

Many online graduate degree programs and classes are designed for working adults and allow students a great deal of flexibility in scheduling. In this sort of course or program, students may have no set assignment or test dates and rarely have to attend class at any given time. Some classes, however, may require students to attend at a particular time of day on certain days of the week in order to view live video lectures or participate in class conferences via voice or sometimes video.

Online Program Options for Robotics

Master of Science in Robotics

Often, the online portions of robotics degree programs are centered in areas that can easily be studied without hands-on contact with robotic devices, such as physics, computer science and mathematics. Which classes are offered by a given degree program in robotics will differ from discipline to discipline. Specialized courses in areas such as computer science or electronics can be found depending on the focus area of the course.

Courses common in robotics-related programs include:

  • Process automation
  • Simulation
  • Project management
  • Control systems design
  • Computer architecture

Schools with Online Programs in Robotics

There are a couple of schools that offer completely online programs in robotics at the bachelor's and master's level.

Southern New Hampshire University offers a bachelor's degree in information technologies where students can choose a concentration in robotics and artificial intelligence. The 120-credit program teaches students hands-on skills and other technical information. Classes include topics like cyberlaw and ethics, human factors in information technology, and business system design.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers an online robotics engineering master's degree program. Computer science and mechanical engineering are some of the core courses that are examined as well as artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. The 30-credit program is offered live and allows students to work at their own pace. Students must have knowledge of object oriented programming and will finish the program with a capstone project.

It is important to compare several school options when deciding on an online program in robotics. Using this information, you can decide which degree award is best for you along with focus areas and the flexibility of the program.

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