Oregon State University professor Jonathan Hurst talks about his work with robotics and physical interaction tasks.

Robots have helped humans explore space and the deep oceans, and their use is expanding into healthcare, farming, food preparation, manufacturing, and even education. Robotics is a multidisciplinary area that combines electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science. This area includes embedded programming, control systems, automated decision making, and power electronics. These disciplines must work together to sense, think, and act (the core properties of a robotic system). Robotics topic opportunities include computer vision, artificial intelligence, robotic dynamics, and human-robot interaction. The world-class robotics group at Oregon State is innovating in areas such as bipedal robots that can walk and run in changing terrain.

Employment opportunity range from industrial automation, designing control systems for non-robotic systems (like airplanes), and researching advances necessary to make robotics a commercially viable industry (such as iRobot).  There are several companies that currently offer job opportunities locally, but many companies are located throughout the nation.

Potential Job Opportunities

Robotics engineer: Design and build robots for research and industrial uses; work for companies like ABB Robotics, AeroVironment, Boeing, Bosch, Caterpillar, 3D Robotics

Control systems engineer: Design and build control systems for automatic manufacturing equipment; work for companies like ATS Automation, Boeing, Caterpillar, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Rockwell

Field service engineer: Service automated manufacturing systems in the field; work for companies like Hitachi.

Automation Engineer: Design and build automated manufacturing systems; work for companies like ATS Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, GE, Johnson Controls, Siemens