What is Robotics? This is a question a lot of people ask. The short answer isn’t very short. The long answer is where careers are made 🙂 Both answers here.
You’ll find the short answer at the end of the article. But honestly I bet you already know the short answer.
Besides, the long answer is where you the world is made better and great careers happen.
First, why should you listen to me? I’m Keith Young. I have multiple Engineering degrees, I’ve worked in robotics fields, I’ve won robotics competitions, and I teach high end Robotics classes. That’s me in the middle.
Want to know a little more about me? About Keith Young.
Let’s jump in!
What is Robotics – Outline
What is Robotics? Glad you asked! It’s a:
- Topic YOU and YOUR KIDS Can Learn
- Engineering Discipline
- Way to Change the World
- Way to Make a Living
- Fun Activity
- Wonderful Toy Category
- Robot Apocalypse Waiting to Happen
- Class We Teach
What is Robotics? A Topic You Can Learn
Anyone can learn robotics. Yes – YOU can learn robotics. Have kids? They can learn robotics too.
The key is finding the right information and a good way to get started.
We will be writing more beginner articles in the near future. For now, check out our Ultimate Guide to Robotics Projects and Ideas.
Still want your kids to learn important skills like this but can’t afford a robot? First, you probably can afford it. Check out the Ultimate Guide link above.
Otherwise, check out The Best Age to For Kids to Start Learning Python Coding.
If you want to take baby steps, check out our Ultimate Guide to Block Coding.
What is Robotics? A Mentality
Industriousness – One of the key traits we instill in our students here at Kinvert. Robotics to me is sort of a way of thinking, and a way to flex your brain muscle.
What’s so great about robotics is that you get a ton of problem solving and troubleshooting chops. Few disciplines provide more opportunity in this regard.
As you get deeper in to Robotics you’ll learn Electronics, Hardware, Coding, Algorithmic Thinking, and Troubleshooting.
What is Robotics? An Engineering Discipline
Robotics is an Engineering discipline. There are many topics within robotics that are used.
What types of Engineers can end up in a career in robotics?
- Mechanical Engineers
- Electrical Engineers
- Mechatronics Engineers
- Biomedical Engineers
- Computer Engineers
Is this an exhaustive list? No. Chemical Engineers could likely encounter them, use them, and design parts for them. For example, a Chemical Engineer could help a company design an end effector which deals with solvent mixing.
Since robots cross between the fields of mechanical structures, electronics, and software, the robotics field is highly interdisciplinary.
What is Robotics? A Way to Change the World
There is no question that robots are changing the world. Automation helps make things more affordable and precise.
Here are some ways robots can help change our world:
- Cleaning plastic from our oceans
- Inspecting infrastructure
- Driver-less cars will be safer and more fuel efficient
- Surgical robots – yes they’re still controlled by humans – for now
- Making medicine cheaper
- so much more…
What is Robotics? A Way to Make a Living
I certainly made better money in robotics than I did my first several years of teaching. I can tell you that lol. Luckily word of mouth spread quickly and Kinvert grew leaps and bounds.
You can have a great career in robotics. The pay can be very good and it’s a lot of fun as well. One thing I enjoyed was end effector design since I got to learn about so many different industries.
Kinvert now has several ‘graduates’ who have gone on to specific vocational training in robotics. They have learned maintenance, programming, and more, for industrial robotic arms.
There are many jobs to be had related to Robotics.
- Designing robots
- Industrial Engineering
- End effectors
- Operating robots
What is Robotics? A Fun Activity
Robotics doesn’t always have to be rigorous – it can also be a lot of fun.
Regardless of age, well made robots are fun.
Younger kids have fun with more interactive robots with a simple user interface. For more on how to get younger kids introduced to Robotics check out our article on Block Coding.
Older kids and teens have fun with more complicated robots that slightly push their abilities. They like to have a little more direct control and the user interface doesn’t have to be as simple as for younger kids.
Robotics is a lot of fun. Not only can kids build them and drive them, you can also find the occasional Robot Dinosaur in a museum or zoo or see them in movies.
What is Robotics? A Wonderful Toy Category
Please don’t be the parent that basically buys the daughter lipstick and purses, and buys the boy Avengers figurines. Sure, maybe that’s how they’ll make their living and change the world. But I sort of doubt it.
Robot toys are not only fund but also educational. There are many reasons that robots are among our favorite educational toys.
We wrote a great article on the Best STEM Gifts for Kids – Educational Toys. If you have any questions about what to get for your kids please let me know. We love helping with this!
What is Robotics? A Robot Apocalypse Waiting to Happen
Come on of course I had to say it.
My students have a theory. Every time they program the robot and it doesn’t do what they meant, it wasn’t a mistake in their code. It was the robot slightly misbehaving and seeing what it can get away with so that it can one day figure out how to conquer the world.
All jokes aside, there are big responsibilities when it comes to ethics in any Engineering field. This will be particularly true of robots and AI. Keep in mind, the Predator Drone is basically a robot.
What is Robotics? A Hobby
And a great hobby at that! There aren’t many hobbies where you can learn more and flex your mind muscles.
After having multiple Engineering degrees (Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering), winning multiple Robotics Competitions, and a good career in Engineering, I chose to challenge myself. I wanted to make a robot where I could build a maze with ribbons, and it would take a picture with a camera, then solve the maze.
If I can challenge myself in robotics, so can you.
That said, you can also get started now much easier than you could before. There are a ton of great tools out there for beginners and it helps make Robotics one of the best hobbies on the planet (and even off of it).
What is Robotics? A Class We Teach
We love teaching robotics and our students love the classes. Our very first class – ever – was a robotics class teaching with the Parallax ActivityBot. We taught a, then, 6, 10, and 12 year old how to build the robot and program it in C++.
In conclusion, robotics is a lot of things.
If you’re here for the short answer, what is robotics? It’s basically a category of tech. Some people buy, some sell, some design and make robotics. Some people tinker with robots at home.
Again, this article will be constantly updated. We’ll continue to write in some of these sub topics in more detail.
Want your kids to learn robotics at home? No matter how you educate your kids, public school, homeschool, private school, you should still check this one out. Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Robotics.