Robotics engineers play important roles in the design, implementation and maintenance of robotic systems that are used for our daily activities either at work or the office.
To know what steps you can take to becoming a robotics engineer in South Africa, you can read my previous article here
In this write-up, I would be explaining the career opportunities for RObotics engineers in South Africa.
Who is a Robotics Engineer
Robotics engineers are professionals who have studied the principles and techniques applied in the field of robotic engineering. Their own type of engineering is focused on building and designing machines for different industries such as manufacturing, automotive, service, hospitality, medical and also individuals who make use of automated equipment to perform what one would consider as repetitive or hazardous jobs.
Every robotics engineer is concerned with the following processes throughout the lifetime of their career;
- conducting research in different areas of robotics to aid in making cost-effective and safe robotic systems
- designing processes and prototypes to be implemented in the development stage of the project
- Testing and maintaining software controlling robotic systems.
Individuals who work as robotics engineers should be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of automation processes and computer systems which can be used in developing safe and cost-effective machines.
Their work also involves a lot of problem-solving and analytical approach to the situation because they may spend months and sometimes years in identifying solutions to design problems before implementing and launching to the general public.
Activities of Robotics Engineers
Some of the daily activities of robotics engineers include;
- Conducting research to determine the parameters of a robotic application
- Designing and creating robotic systems and testing prototypes
- Developing software to be used in controlling the robots
- Developing and Recommending cost-effective and efficient processes to produce the machines
- Perform integration tests and quality control throughout the process
- Applying machine learning techniques in development and testing stages
- Create complete documentation for robotic systems
- Monitor systems and troubleshoot when problems are encountered
- Troubleshoot defects in the robot design
- Be up to date with your knowledge of the robotics engineering discipline
Relevant Skills For Robotics Engineers
People who work as robotics engineers need to have the following skillset because it is important for easy career navigation. They include
- Analytical Skills
- Communication skills
- Systems Thinking
- Knowledge of programming languages
- Problem-solving skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Team Work
- Attention to detail
- Critical thinking and innovative approach
- The adequate interpretation of data
- Presentation skills
- Quality assurance and control
- Ability to work under pressure
Educational Requirements for Robotics Engineers In South Africa
It takes 4-5 years to study for a bachelors degree in mechanical, electrical, industrial, computer science engineering and robotics engineering if available in your university of choice.
After this, you can proceed to obtain a masters degree which would equip you with a better knowledge of how to conduct good research in the field of robotics.
Entry requirements for prospective applicants into most schools include;
- A Science background
- Good scores in the NSC examinations especially in English, Mathematics, Physics, further mathematics, computer science
- Pass the entrance examinations of the school applied to
Where Can I Work as a Robotics Engineer?
Some of the areas you can work in as a Robotics engineer includes but are not limited to the places specified below :
- Research Institutions
- Manufacturing companies
- Consultancies /agencies
- Government establishments
- Laboratories both private and government-owned
Universities In South Africa Where You Can Study For a Relevant Degree
Universities where you can find either related courses or Robotics engineering courses either as a bachelors or postgraduate degree in South Africa include;
- University of Pretoria
- Stellenbosch University
- Rhodes University
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- University of the Free State
- University of Capetown
- University of Witwatersrand
- Wits University