Imagine a future where Robots rule the world! Is this just a science-fiction theme from many Hollywood movies? In reality, robots are increasingly becoming part of everyday life. As world economies grow and the cost of labour rises, industrial robots are becoming more viable and efficient. A robot with the assistance of clever software and precision engineering can be trained to carry out repetitive processes efficiently and accurately. Robotics can work non stop, without holidays or a break, and when they are finished, they can be reprogrammed to carry out other tasks.
Robots - the Way of the Future
So yes, the concept of robots being a big part of our future is real, however the robots will not look like the ones in movies, they will most likely appear as they do now, mechanical arms that can move from a fixed point. These robotic arms are used in production lines, traditionally in car assembly, but companies like Dunedin's Scott Automation are looking at ways of using robots in many other industries. Meat processing is one industry that has provided many challenges, but where robots are being tested and developed to perform many of the dangerous tasks carried out by people. The robot has to see where it is cutting and know what cut to make, the problem is that animal carcasses come in all sizes and shapes that confuses precision equipment. The challenge for the engineers has been to accurately map the carcass so the robot can make the required cuts.
Careers in Automation Engineering
A career in Automation Engineering requires good problem solving skills, and there are a range of career paths within this exciting industry.
When coming into the Automation Engineering Industry, school leavers may have skills in a number of areas i.e. Drawing: Learn to think in 3D, visualise what things look like from all angles Computers: Computers are just tools and most jobs require some computing skills - basic PC knowledge will take you a long way. Solving: Don't expect to find a job that doesn't involve problem solving. The type of job dictates how much problem solving you will be expected to do. The more problem solving you are willing to do the further you will progress.
Automotive Engineering Apprenticeships
Entry into Automotive Engineering Apprenticeship and a pre-trade course at the Polytechnic. When you start as an apprentice you need to ask a lot of questions even if you feel you know things already. Try to solve problems then ask if you have made the right decisions.
As you develop your career, you will gain valuable experience. You must keep learning and working hard, and try and get as much experience of as many different jobs as possible.
Higher training: You can pursue a Bachelor of Engineering degree but remember practical skills are just as important and you can learn a lot from the people on the shop floor.