Manufacturing facilities around the world are increasing adoption of industrial robots to increase automation and maintain competitiveness. In both the US and China particularly, application of industrial robots is on the rise. Sales of industrial robots grew by 66 percent in the past 5 years alone in the USA, according to the International Federation of Robots.
Robots all have some kind of mechanical construction, a frame, form or shape designed to achieve a particular task. For example, a robot designed to travel across heavy dirt or mud, might use caterpillar tracks. There must also be electrical components which power and control the machinery. For example, the robot with caterpillar tracks would need some kind of power to move the tracker treads. The electrical aspect of robots is used for movement via motors, with built-in sensors delivering electrical signals in order to measure things like sound, position, and even basic vision.
Autonomous robots are well-suited to perform tasks that are dangerous and often repetitive, as well as to function in extreme environments such as space, under the oceans, or at high altitudes. NASA tests robots for exploration in areas called analogs. Analogs are places where the environment is similar to locations like Mars or the moon, where a robot may be used.
Another field in which robots are finding a niche is in medical applications. Although still in its infancy, robotic surgery has already proven itself to be of great value, particularly in areas inaccessible to conventional laparoscopic procedures. Robotic technology is set to revolutionize surgery by improving and expanding laparoscopic procedures, minimizing invasiveness, and allowing remote operation.
Humanoid robots are constructed in such a way that they mimic the human body, so they use actuators that perform like muscles and joints, though with a different structure. To achieve the same effect as human motion, humanoid robots use mainly rotary actuators. They can be either electric, pneumatic, hydraulic, piezoelectric or ultrasonic. While electric coreless motor actuators are better suited for high speed and low load applications, hydraulic ones operate well at low speed and high load applications. Piezoelectric actuators generate a small movement with a high force capability when voltage is applied. They can be used for ultra-precise positioning and for generating and handling high forces or pressures in static or dynamic situations.
Sensors can be classified according to the physical process with which they work or according to the type of measurement information that they give as output. Vision refers to processing data from any modality which uses the electromagnetic spectrum to produce an image. In humanoid robots it is used to recognize objects and determine their properties. Sound sensors allow humanoid robots to hear speech and environmental sounds, and perform as the ears of the human being. Microphones are usually used for this task.
Mechanics of Machining
Degrees of Freedom
design and manufacturing i
design and manufacturing ii
intro to robotics
sail and yacht design
direct thermal solar
Aircraft Design, Aerospace
aerospace engineering 1
human factors engineering
aircraft systems engineering
energy flow in buildings
Analysis of Beam
Method of Joints
Method of Sections
Theories of Failure
intro to materials science
solid state chemistry
materials in human experience
fracture and fatigue
welding and joining
mechanics of plastics
Thermal Power Plant
applied nuclear physics
engineering of nuclear systems
nuclear reactor safety
Diesel vs Petrol
Fuel Cell Technology
gas and diesel engines
Fluid Dynamics 1
Fluid Dynamics 2
Centrifugal Pump 2
Brushless DC Motor
Single Phase Motor
3 Phase Motor
RMF - 1P Motor
RMF - 3P Motor
solid state circuits
circuits and electronics
photovoltaics - solar energy
antennas and signals
intro to algorithms
computer systems 1
computer systems security
natural language processing
intro to C language
water quality control
Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineering programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. They may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in the robotics industry.
A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one's career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. The initial PE exam can be taken after earning a bachelor's degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns. After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering. Each state issues its own licenses, although most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state's requirements meet or exceed their own.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Cambridge, MA|
2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech) - Pasadena, CA
3. Stanford University - Stanford, CA
4. University of California Berkeley - Berkeley, CA
5. Cornell University - Ithaca, NY
6. Princeton University - Princeton, NJ
7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
8. Harvey Mudd College - Claremont, CA
9. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology - Terre Haute, IN
10. United States Military Academy - West Point, NY
11. Bucknell University - Lewisburg, PA
12. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - San Luis Obispo, CA
13. The Cooper Union - New York, NY
14. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach, FL
15. Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA
16. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Champaign, IL
17. Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
18. Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN
19. University of Texas Austin - Austin, TX
20. University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
Source: US News, Forbes, and Bloomberg
Mechanical engineers held about 288,800 jobs in 2017. The median annual wage for mechanical engineers was $84,190 in May 2017. Most mechanical engineers work full time, and about a third worked more than 40 hours a week in 2017. Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 10 percent over the coming deacde. In the automotive industry in particular, mechanical engineers will play key roles in improving the range and performance of factory robots on the production line.
The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) reported that the world market for industrial robots is driven primarily by demand from motor vehicle manufacturing, followed by the electronics industry. US manufacturers that design and produce industrial robots include Adept Technology, Genmark Automation, Rethink Robotics, and SAGE Automation. In addition to automotive robots, these companies produce robots for the electronics, medical, and logistics industries.
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