Exploring Specializations in Mechanical Engineering 101: Robotics Focused

In other to explore the various areas of specializations in Mechanical Engineering, let’s understand what exactly Mechanical Engineering is and who Mechanical Engineers are.

Mechanical Engineering as we all know is the mother of all engineering disciplines. It is the oldest and the broadest engineering field, which is concerned with the application of first-principle thinking, creativity, mathematics, and various scientific principles in the design, analysis, production, and maintenance of various mechanical systems. So due to its broadness, specializations in Mechanical Engineering are required.

Mechanical engineers are individuals who design, test, produce, and maintain various mechanical systems from bolts and nuts to more complex systems like our vehicles. They incorporate various mechanical principles to help make our lives easy and safe. Which is why they are always sorted out in various industries.

In other to identify the industry you would like to work in, you have to learn about the various areas of specialization in Mechanical Engineering, which is why I am writing this article.

In this article, I am focusing only on robotics as an area of specialization in Mechanical Engineering, If you’re interested in learning more about robotics, then you’re in the right place.

Specializations in Mechanical Engineering – Part 1

Robotics

Robotics is the combination of various engineering disciplines mostly mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science to the design, construction, production, and application of intelligent machines called Robots which can replicate human behaviors.

Specializations in Mechanical Engineering

Robotics is one of the various specializations in Mechanical Engineering because as a mechanical engineer, one of your specialties is to understand Kinematics (how things move without considering the forces involved), Dynamics (why things move with consideration to the forces that cause that movement), and Structures (the framework and mechanical supports for all machine components) which is very crucial in the development of robots.

Application of Robotics in Various Industries

Robotics is a field that has come to stay because robots are now a crucial part of our daily lives, helping us do tasks that we can’t do or we take time to do, you know, tasks that are repetitive, dangerous, or unsafe for we humans to carry out.

  • In the manufacturing industry, robots are used for the assembly, fabrication, finishing, transfer, and inspection of parts.
  • In the material handling industry, robots are used for picking, sorting, and packaging various types of materials.
  • In the agricultural industry, robots are used for weed control, seeding, spraying, harvesting, and so on.
  • In the security industry, robots are used for identification, location, communication, and even defense.

Robotics have various applications in our daily lives so it’s one of the most innovative specializations in Mechanical Engineering.

Come to think of it, do you know that even your standing fan or your water dispenser is a robot?

Key Technologies and Innovations in Robotics

Due to the high demand for industrialization, automation, digitalization, and sustainability, The robotic sector has seen a large activity in investments in technologies such as Automated guided vehicles (AGVs), Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), Automated material handling in warehouses, Intelligent Robotics, Cobots robotics as a Service, Robotics Cybersecurity, Drone technology, Internet of things, Humanoid Robots, and Assistive Robotics.

Specializations in Mechanical Engineering

According to status-insight.com, innovative start-ups are emerging at a very rapid rate, determined to develop low-cost robotic solutions that accelerate robot integration, making our life more efficient, with over 3 790 000+ startups & scaleups globally.

It won’t be a bad choice to join them in creating a startup. The robotics market is just starting and will last for years before being saturated.

Career Opportunities in Robotics as a Mechanical Engineer.

As a mechanical engineer, considering robotics as one of the specializations in Mechanical Engineering isn’t a bad choice, i will say it’s even a very good choice because of the advancement in our world today. So the career opportunities in robotics as a mechanical engineer focus more on the structural and moving part of the technology.

Since a robot can’t be fully built by a just only a mechanical engineer, it also can’t be built without a mechanical engineer in place (like who would design the frame or the joints and linkages?)

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As a mechanical engineer specializing in robotics, you can work in places such as; Agricultural and Exploration Robotics, Assistive and Medical Robotics, Automation in Manufacturing, Research, and Development.

Challenges experienced in Robotics as a Mechanical Engineer

As a mechanical engineer in robotics, you will face multiple challenges that will require a lot of creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration, because, in robotics, you have to design, test, and even control various machines that are capable of performing various tasks autonomously or manually. So if you’re considering robotics as one of the specializations in Mechanical Engineering for you to dive into, these are some of the challenges you’d face;

Specializations in Mechanical Engineering

Miniature and Compact Design

Robotic systems are meant to be compact and lightweight at the same time, even though you want them to be very complex ( capable of carrying out various activities and comprising various parts). Honestly, to be able to design a complex system capable of various functionalities at the same time being light in weight and not occupying a large amount of space is something that isn’t easy to be accomplished but as a Mechanical Engineer, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible.

Choice of Material

As a mechanical engineer, you should know that one of the first decisions you have to make before designing any system is choosing what materials you need in other to design that system. So even if you’re considering going into robotics (as one of the specializations in Mechanical Engineering), you should know that you will face the same challenges because your choice of material will depend on the type of robot you want to build (like it’s functions, size, weight, cost, environment, durability and so on) and the properties of the materials required (like it’s strength, flexibility, conductivity, resistance to corrosion or stress and so on).

Motion Control and Kinematics

If you’re considering robotics as one of the specializations in Mechanical Engineering, you should know that you will be responsible for developing mostly all the moving parts of the robotics system and the structural parts as well.

So to make sure that the robotic system is capable of precise motion and flexibility, you must have a deep understanding of mechanical principles, fluid dynamics, control systems, and so on, in other to be able to overcome various challenges such as friction and vibration mostly when designing robotic arms, grippers and so on.

So guys in other not to make this article long, I would stop here for now. it is a very good choice if you are thinking about specializing in robotics as a mechanical engineer. But if this isn’t your choice, check out my other article on the topic, “Specializations in Mechanical Engineering” and don’t forget to subscribe in other to get notified when I upload more articles.

Feel free to ask questions below and tell me what article you want me to write about.


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JohnTech

John Samari, also known as Johntech, is a multifaceted professional and the founder of Johntech Academy. With a diverse skill set, John excels as a graphic designer, STEM tutor, writer, mechanical engineer, and life coach. He is passionate about creating captivating designs, making STEM subjects engaging and accessible, crafting compelling stories, and supporting personal and professional growth. For more information, connect with John on social media.

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