Robotics has become a popular field in the recent past, perhaps due to its wide range of applications and the availability of top-notch resources for robotics training.
Whether you are a robots enthusiast that views robotics as a hobby, or a career person that uses robotics at work, there are some effective ways to learn about robotics.
With multiple robotics events taking place all over the world, the public is paying attention to this niche, now more than ever.
Trends in robotics are now common on news outlets and social media. There has never been a better time to learn robotics.
With the availability of free and affordable means of learning, you have the chance to acquire the skills needed in this ever-changing field.
How you learn robotics will largely depend on how you want to use your robotics skills. Do you need your robotics training because you want to live out your hobby?
Do you want to acquire robotics skills with the aim of advancing your career? Your end goal will determine your learning path.
Explore Robotics for Fun
Whether you are just getting started in robotics or you have some basic knowledge in the field, now is a great time to develop your knowledge, and there are a wide variety of learning options.
Robotics kits will be a suitable starting point if you have some basic robotics knowledge. There are hundreds of robotic kits available online.
If you are totally new to robots, you may start by taking online courses to get acquainted with the basics. You may also join robotics clubs. We will discussed these points in more detail below.
Formal Robotics studies for a career
If you wish to go into a career in robotics, acquiring an appropriate degree could be helpful. You can also enroll in formal online courses. We have provided more details below.
Learning processes are different for everyone because everyone is at a different learning stage, and that is why we have compiled a comprehensive guide that could apply to everyone’s case. Let us go into the details.
Learning the Basics
Learn basic coding
Robots are created by applying computer programming and learning how to code will help you program your robotics.
Coding is a primary element in robotics, and you will need to acquire a variety of coding skills. Your coding practice should focus on using functions, creating conditional statements and using variables.
Two of the most applicable coding languages in learning robotics are Python and C++. You can either pick and study a coding language on your own or enroll for coding classes.
Learn Linear Algebra
Learning linear algebra will prepare you for robots building. Having basic algebraic skills is very useful in both programming a robot and altering the robot’s code.
Taking a wide range of algebra courses while in high school or college will help you achieve this. You can also seek to enhance your mathematical skills by studying algebra privately.
Having difficulties with mathematics should not discourage you from learning robotics. If you are still a high school or college student, and you are having trouble with algebra, approach your math teacher or professor for additional help.
You may also attend math help labs where you will receive assistance with the fundamental concepts you struggle with. Some Pre and post-secondary schools provide such labs.
Having a solid physics foundation will provide a great background for learning robotics. To successfully build robots, you need a profound understanding of how robots work and how they interact with the outside world.
This is where physics studies come in. If you have never studied physics before, there is no cause for worry, as there are multiple ways through which you can get started.
One way you can study physics is enrolling in an online physics program. You can also study basic physics concepts on your own.
Actually, there are a number of web-based institutions that offer free courses on physics, math and computer science. Getting a physics tutor can help in accelerating the learning process.
Study Computer Science
Computer science skills will go a long way in strengthening your robotics skills, because of the strong connection between the two.
You can acquire an understanding of computer science by studying privately or enrolling in an online computer science program. You can also attend college and acquire a computer science degree.
Once you have the knowledge, endeavor always to be up to date by reading articles and websites about computer science. Check whether the community colleges around you offer subsidized computer science courses.
Building Your Robotics Skills
Build your first robot
Once you have acquired sufficient skills necessary in robotics, it is time to build your first robot. You can do this on your own or by using a robot building kit.
Doing it on your own will require you to purchase parts and tools from your local hardware for use in building the robot.
You can purchase a robot kit either online or from your local electronics stores. You then follow the kit’s instructions to build a robot. To do this, you will use coding, mathematics and manual tinkering.
It is advisable to start with simple robots and, as you become more experienced, proceed to sophisticated robots.
Take robotics courses
You may take robotics courses online, or you can attend class in-person. Studying robotics privately goes a long way in learning robotics, but robotics courses will help advance your robotics skills and techniques.
Check whether your local colleges offer robotics classes. Community centers may also offer such courses.
If you can’t get the time to attend robotics classes, you can result in taking online courses or reading books and articles on robotics.
Join a robotics club
Joining a robotics club will provide a platform for learning from others and sharing your passion with like-minded individuals.
Robotics is not only practiced individually. Building robots with other robots enthusiasts can lead to lasting friendships. If there is a robotics club at your school, joining will be fun and beneficial.
Joining a robotics club in your community center will give you an avenue for learning new robotics techniques and living out your hobby. If there are no robotics clubs in your locality, consider starting your own.
Clubs provide a fun means of connecting people that share similar interests. Starting a club on your own requires little time and effort.
To get started, you only need to outline the goals and objectives of the club and start looking for members. Your friends that have an interest in robotics may be the very first members you recruit.
Participate in robotics competitions
When you have acquired impressive robotics skills, consider entering robotics competitions. You may either participate in local or larger robotics competitions.
Ensure that your robot is functioning properly. Robotics competitions offer an excellent opportunity for testing your inventions and learning ways of making improvements.
How you perform compared to others is not very important. The important thing is to get feedback about your robots and to discover ways of making them better.
If you don’t feel confident enough to participate in a robotics competition, consider attending one first, as an observer.
By doing this, you will not only learn what goes on in such competitions, but you may also get ideas on how to improve your robots.
Watching the competition is also fun. Attending such contests and improving your robots will boost your confidence.
Studying Advanced Robotics
Study Trigonometry and Statistics
Linear algebra will be sufficient in learning basic robotics, but you will need trigonometry and statistics to build advanced robots.
The two courses are advanced mathematics, but if you are good enough, you can study them on your own. You may also take an online course or attend a local college in-person.
If you have difficulties with advanced math, you may seek advice from other robotics hobbyists with advanced expertise.
Such experts may relate mathematics to practical robotics skills more clearly, and this way, you may learn faster.
Learn how to use the Robot Operating System (ROS)
ROS is the most widely used operating system for building robots. Learning how to use the ROS can help you develop your own advanced robots without having to use a kit.
You can program your inventions when you learn how to use the Robot Operating System.
Using ROS requires excellent programming skills. You also need to be proficient in C++ or Python. Make sure you have the necessary knowledge for effective learning before downloading the ROS.
Using ROS can also be learned by taking a ROS course online. You may also learn how to use the software at a college.
Get a degree in robotics engineering
If you wish to go all the way, getting a degree in robotics engineering will enable you to design, troubleshoot and repair complex robots.
With a bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering, you will be equipped with advanced robotics skills and vital information on the robots industry.
If you are not in a position to take a robotics engineering course, a mechanical engineering degree will provide you with the skills necessary for building robots.
Turn your hobby into a career
By becoming a robotics engineer, you will have made your hobby into a career. Doing this will put you in a position where you enjoy your work and also increase the chances of career advancement since you are passionate about what you do.
A career in robotics engineering involves designing and creating robots, so if you are a robots hobbyist, you will definitely enjoy your work.
You will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering (or a related engineering degree) for you to be hired as a robotics engineer.
Some employers may require you to have a masters degree. The most important thing is to have excellent skills in robotics. You should be able to illustrate your skills both in theory and in practice.
Related fields of study that can be pursued in place of robotics engineering, including mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. A biomedical engineering degree may also be applicable in robotics.
As a robotics engineer, you will be tasked with designing and testing robots. You may also be required to debug codes used in programming robots.
Robotics engineers are also involved in the servicing and repair of robots. A significant part of the work involves integrating robots with external electronic devices.
Manufacturer and Third Party Training
Some big robot manufacturers offer free training for their robotics. Also, there are third parties that provide robotics training.
Online Robotics Communities
Robotics is an evolving field of engineering and being able to collaborate with other robotics enthusiasts can help with addressing challenges presented by new applications.
Online Robotics communities are an excellent avenue for this; they provide knowledge and feedback.
Work regularly on your robots
Ensure that you dedicate adequate time to learning about robotics. The more you learn and train, the better you get.
Taking long breaks from the learning process can hurt your chances of success.
Take enough time to plan and figure out the robots you want to build. Also, document your work so that you can track your progress.
Learning robotics to advanced levels requires hard work, patience, and dedication.
You may not succeed all at once, but you should not give up. Instead, identify your weaknesses and work on them until you overcome.
People pursue robotics to different ends. Some are hobbyists while others pursue it a career.
Learning how to code is an essential skill in robotics because all of robotics involves coding and programming.
Also, having knowledge of physics and linear algebra will be instrumental in learning robotics.
Since learning robotics may involve handling electrical objects and other tools, kids should always practice robotics while being supervised by an adult.
Getting a degree in robotics engineering will help you establish a career in the robotics industry. The multiple resources and methods discussed here will enable you to learn robotics.