Thinking of a career in robotics.

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Wolvenreign, Jan 19, 2013.

Jan 19, 2013
  1. Wolvenreign
    OP

    Member Wolvenreign Transhuman Satanist Furry Technocrat

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Country:
    United States
    Howdy, everyone. I was thinking about getting a career in programming robotic behavior. I'd like to get as proficient at it as possible, preferably with something equivalent to a master's or PhD. Do you all have a particular school you would recommend?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Engert

    Member Engert I love me

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Taxachusetts
    Country:
    United States
    M.I.T.
     
    Wolvenreign likes this.
  3. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,697
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    "programming robotic behavior"

    For that sort of thing it would be entirely possible to take straight computer programming (my usual suggestion to see about maths course based ones stands) and maybe a few electronics courses if they have serious programming elements (most electronics are good but some head more towards the materials science or specialist things like medicine rather than the programming side of things you want to go in for) and move sideways when you get to masters or doctoral levels; serious robotic programming is very much the sort of thing I would expect to see at that level where basic three or four year degrees might not get much towards it unless you push hard in final projects and such like. That said I am seeing quite a few specialist courses when I go looking so I could be surprised.

    Bonus- there are a few open source projects (people doing drones for various reasons being some of the most notable) and robotics kits are the bread and butter of electronics kits for a lot of suppliers of such things. Wandering into your hypothetical job interview seven odd years from now would do so much better if you can say "I built all this and contributed to these projects".
     
    Wolvenreign likes this.
  4. Engert

    Member Engert I love me

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Taxachusetts
    Country:
    United States
    Just don't end up working for the robotics of the army. We don't need any more ways to kill people more efficiently but we do need new ways to improve the human experience.
     
  5. Wolvenreign
    OP

    Member Wolvenreign Transhuman Satanist Furry Technocrat

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Country:
    United States
    What I hope to accomplish is the creation of my own small robotics firm where we rent out automatons tailor made to the menial jobs required by businesses. In the end, I want to show people how utterly absurd the concept of "creating jobs" is.

    Hopefully, the government doesn't do something stupid and start hiring people to (perhaps literally) run around in circles just to keep money around.

    Edit: Also, thanks for the reply.
     
  6. xylos

    Member xylos GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Crazy Cowtown City KS
    Country:
    United States
    I've switched majors at my local community college ( I know right.. pssh..) from Pre Med to Computer science and have to take some pretty basic programming classes along with a single robotics course. The Robotics class is new this year at the place so we're learning about the robot along with the teacher which makes things go extremely slow. Apparently we'll be using a little bit of Python programming to get the robot to do things like move, dance, talk to us, understand our different voice tones and such. But at the rate the class is going I highly doubt we'll get anywhere near that soon. Moral of this story: if you want to go into robotics behavior, don't go to your local community college. And definetely don't try any of those technical schools they announce on TV like Devry, Phoenix, Brown Mackie.. big ol' ripoffs.

    Since you're from Illinois I would try to find a good engineering school. Here in Kansas its always if you want to do Medicine, Art, or teaching go to KU. For anything agriculture, business, and computer engineering go the K-State way. It all depends on your needs
     
  7. Arras

    Member Arras ★02

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5,714
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    You could try Artificial Intelligence studies?
     
  8. Engert

    Member Engert I love me

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Taxachusetts
    Country:
    United States
    One thing i learned during my school years is that you don't do your homework with common sense, logic or innovation, but you do it how the professor likes it. That way you avoid un-necessary arguments and move out of there quickly and on to the next class.
     
  9. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,697
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Custom robotics on a hire/low end consumer price scale.... an interesting idea and with the serious advancements being made in rapid fabrication/prototyping/CNC/low volume world I can see it end up fairly doable (as it stands I already added a few motors and arduino type things to machines for remote control and basic automation type reasons though those were usually closer to the pay us silly money for this feature which I could replicate for a bit of time and some cheap parts). Definitely do get into the open source drones world though- those guys are doing some serious stuff with everything from optical recognition to genetic algorithms to sensor driven automated logic (self flying/correcting/adjusting things) and that would exactly what you need (everything that could be improved by adding a motor to it probably has had the motor added to it already and if you see one without it then chances are initial investment is the problem).

    If that is your plan the other bit of advice would be to wander over to the engineering department (maybe physics in a pinch) of wherever you happen to be and make a few friends there. Also read up on venture capital stuff sooner rather than later for a lot of that would take some serious investment to get going even if you went with something like shapeways rather than buying in your own CNC gear at first.
     
    Wolvenreign likes this.
  10. Wolvenreign
    OP

    Member Wolvenreign Transhuman Satanist Furry Technocrat

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Country:
    United States
    In addition, I'd like to eventually find a way to build robot parts with 3D "Hive" printers such as Reprap.

    @Xylos Good suggestion, but just to let you know, I'm actually from Indianapolis. I'm only in Chicago right now thanks to this one JobCorps college program, where I'm currently going to Richard Daley City College. Anyone know if the CCC schools are "ripoffs"? I mean, I am going for free, but I want to make sure I'm using my time wisely. I've wasted enough time as it is.
     
  11. Gahars

    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    10,254
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Country:
    United States
    Lucky for you, Engert, you don't do anything with common sense or logic. Two out of three ain't bad.
     
  12. Engert

    Member Engert I love me

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Taxachusetts
    Country:
    United States
    Did anyone see the huge plane that flew over Gahar's head?
     
  13. Wolvenreign
    OP

    Member Wolvenreign Transhuman Satanist Furry Technocrat

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Country:
    United States
    By the way, have I posted this in the correct section? I feel like I have, but it IS tech, so...dunno.
     
  14. qwertymodo

    Member qwertymodo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    769
    Country:
    United States
    I'd suggest a program with a good Embedded Systems program, as it's more suited to your field of interest than either Software Engineering or Computer Technology Engineering (the program titles differ by school, but basically, computer software/computer hardware, neither of which is as well-tailored to your interests as Embedded Systems). Also, Artificial Intelligence is a good field of study for application in robotics.
     
  15. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,697
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Had it been any other type of robotics I would have said embedded as well qwertymodo but most of the ones I have seen steer towards almost electronics design style stuff (everything from battery management to i2c vs spi and ending with a nice dose of FPGA/CPLD coding) which is great if you want to play in embedded systems where for what Wolvenreign is heading towards I would argue a more mathematical approach (high end/high volume sensor data manipulation and computer science to match sort of thing) would be a better bet. +1 to A.I. though- whether you find an undergrad course on it is a different matter.

    That said I already advocated for learning stuff by yourself (though such a thing applies for any engineering trade in my experience) so embedded systems and messing around on your own time with sensors and rudimentary AI sort of things might work well. Also Wolvenreign in case you did not know things like http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/ exist and even offer certificates of a sort if you wanted such things ( https://www.edx.org/ would be the place to start). What it will ultimately do for you I leave to you to consider- self taught/taught on the job engineers exist (though it is a hugely important element to all engineers) and they often do great things, how easy it is to land a job (unless you are lucky enough to dodge HR and job agencies) is a somewhat different matter (the certificates there are a new idea so I am not sure what goes there).

    Equally I did not make it as obvious as I could have- most of this was going off somewhat older course guide lists from when I was playing around a couple of years back. You might luck out and find a course tailored to your needs (and I can well see it existing at a good school at bachelors level), but when I was looking at options here most of it seemed to be masters/phd (taught or research) or you do two bachelors degrees.

    Edit- might as well also link up http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
     

Share This Page