Robots are increasingly doing what humans can’t, shouldn’t or don’t want to do—from writing emails and vacuuming the floor to exploring space and disarming bombs.
The field is diverse and the applications are growing exponentially. The robotics program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga provides students with foundational knowledge and skills they can use to land high-paying jobs in almost any industry spanning the public and private sectors.
“Our graduates are really, really in demand,” said Dr. Abdul Ofoli, head of UTC’s Department of Electrical Engineering and its robotics program.
The starting annual salary for undergraduates is about $80,000, said Ofoli, who launched the University’s robotics program when he arrived at UTC in 2010.
Study what interests you
The sky is the limit for students majoring in robotics, said Ofoli, who sponsors the UTC chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and promotes the study of robotics in secondary schools in Hamilton County and throughout Tennessee.
“I tell students to find out what excites them and know that we have space in the robotics curriculum for them to pursue that,” he said.
My students also have the flexibility to choose the areas they want to work in and create their own path with guidance from their professors.”
“Our work is mainly focused on building robots and drones and getting them to work the way we want.
We also create AI systems so that our robots can perform tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as understanding language, recognizing objects and patterns, making decisions and solving problems.”
The UTC robotics curriculum is hands-on and projects touch on areas from industrial automation to space exploration.
Some of the fundamental questions Ofoli and his students and student-researchers ask include: How do you make a robot “see” or “touch” objects with which it interacts?
“Robots are trained to be able to go out and do stuff, so they have to be able to make decisions with the data they collect and analyze too,” Ofoli said.
To learn more about the robotics program in UTC’s Department of Electrical Engineering, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-425-7766.
Six fields robots are revolutionizing (and how they’re doing it)
- Improving safety – Robots can perform tasks that are too dangerous for humans, like working in space or disarming a bomb.
- Automation – Robots can automate tasks and make them more efficient. This can lead to increased productivity and reduced costs.
- Healthcare – Robots can assist with surgery, reducing the risk of human error and improving patient outcomes and care.
- Education and Inspiration – Robotics research can inspire young people to pursue careers in STEM fields.
- Sustainability – Robots can be used to monitor and reduce carbon emissions or to clean up polluted areas.
- Exploration – Robots can be used to explore new frontiers, such as deep-sea exploration, space exploration or the exploration of other planets.