Is a phd in robotics worth it

Last Updated on August 30, 2023

Robotics is defined as the field of computer science and engineering that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots. Robots are automated machines that can assist humans in a variety of settings, from manufacturing processes, to working in critical conditions, unsuitable for human life. Robotics specialists aim to achieve diverse tasks by designing mechanical devices, able to complete them intelligently. Robotics is related to other science sub-fields such as computer science, character animation, machine design, cognitive science, bio-mechanics. Main sub-divisions of robotics include: android science, artificial intelligence, nano-robotics, robot surgery.

Studying robotics, students will acquire information related to computer graphics, gadgetry, mobile robot programming, robotic motion methods, mathematical algorithms, social implications of technology, and more. Apart from learning specific scientific methods, graduates will gain skills that involve mathematical thinking but also artistic vision. Robotics will prepare specialists in competencies such as technology design, programming, repairing and installing equipment for machines, etc.

Career paths in robotics cover a large subject palette, from medicine to engineering and IT. Robotics graduates usually engage in jobs as laboratory assistants, testing technicians, quality assurance staff, programmers, systems controllers, or researchers.

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PhD in Robotics: Information for Doctoral Students

Doctoral robotics programs combine fields such as computing, engineering and physics. Students in a Ph.D. robotics program usually choose a focus area, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and kinetics, or robotics and sensors.

Essential Information

Before gaining acceptance into a Ph.D. program, students must also generally submit a proposed plan for study and a dissertation idea, which must be approved by a university committee. In addition to courses and research that revolve around their chosen topic, students might also take courses in calculus, algebra, numerical analysis, data structures, programming, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and more. Programs typically require a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in robotics, engineering, mechanical engineering or computer programming. Some program specializations that students can choose from are artificial intelligence, robotics and sensors, robotics and kinetic.

Ph.D. in Robotics

A Ph.D. program typically includes 2 years of advanced seminars and qualifying courses, 2 years of research in the student’s focus area, and 1-2 years for completion of a dissertation. The courses in a Ph.D. program in robotics are generally determined by a student’s chosen focus of study, but many universities require students complete some core seminar courses, such as:

Perception and robotics
Image, tactile and force sensors
Dynamics, control and computer vision
Artificial intelligence for robotics
Task scheduling and operations research
Kinematics and locomotion
Popular Careers

Other students might go on to work in private or public research facilities related to the advancement of the robotics field. Some, however, might find work in the following positions:

Robotics engineer
Computer engineer
Robotics technician
Design technician
Robotics tester
Mechanical engineer
Estimates of the Time Allocated to Each Component of the Ph.D. Program

The following table indicates estimates for an appropriate distribution of effort in the Ph.D. program. It is based on actual student performance over the past few years; it also corresponds to the faculty’s judgment of realistic estimates of the time required by various components of the program. These figures are meant to be suggestive, not prescriptive. We present them so that all faculty and students can develop a shared image of the expectations of the program.

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Robotics Orientation full-time one week one week
Courses 1/2 time 1 sem each 4 sem
Teaching 1/4 time 2 sem 2 sem
Skills variable variable variable
Directed Research 1/2 time * 5-7 sem
Thesis Proposal 1/2 time 2 sem 1 sem
Thesis full-time until done 2-4 sem
Good Works variable often —
Deeper Level of Research and Collaboration

Students are involved in every aspect of research – from initial problem formulation to the final publication of results. Research is conducted in the laboratories of the Robotics Institute under the supervision of faculty advisers and in collaboration with student colleagues. Students in the PhD program are awarded a yearly graduate fellowship, which includes tuition, activity fees, and a stipend, as long as they maintain good standing in the program.

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