The Internet of Things, or IoT, is changing the business landscape across industries. The latest “things” to come into focus are industrial robotics that can perform tasks that range from developing products to performing big data analysis. While these advances in robotics do stand to take the place of humans in some manufacturing jobs, they will also create new opportunities for machine technicians and engineers, as well as make it easier for companies to turn their big data analysis into profit.
Robotics and production
Industrial robots have begun to revolutionize product development and manufacturing. A PwC survey of manufacturers found that 59 percent were already using some sort of robotic technology. While robotics has been used in factories for decades, new robots are smarter and faster. They’re able to take on more jobs formerly done by humans, such as assembling tiny electronic components.
Robotic machines have also become cheaper, making it more cost-effective to use them – and thereby driving down production costs in general while allowing manufacturers to refine designs and even to create new products that would otherwise be too expensive and/or difficult to manufacture.
Robotics and big data
Robotics is a necessity for companies that want to effectively perform and leverage their big data analysis. It is of the utmost importance to remember that data is not a single asset; it has a lifespan, and its value can change. With major advances in robotics such as cloud computing, companies are better suited than ever to follow and analyze the data they receive throughout its lifespan.
A recent survey found that 91 percent of global IT decision makers are planning to deploy cloud-based services by the end of 2015. Companies that fail to adapt to these cloud-based services offered by advancing robotics will soon become relics.
Specialty certifications & degree programs for robotics
You can’t call robotics an emerging field, but you could say it’s booming. There are a variety of certifications for robotics workers provided by multiple organizations, and the educational path typically includes courses in engineering or computer science, with a specialization in robotics.
Job titles include:
- Automation technician
- Robotics technician
- Engineering technician
- Robotics engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Software engineer
The National Robotics Training Center awards a certificate for Certified Robotics Production Technician for each of the three robotics assessments: computer systems; communications, navigation and mobility; and sensors, cameras, photonics and light sources. The Robotics Industries Association offers a Certified Robot Integrator program. Additonally, many colleges and universities offer undergraduate programs in robotics, such as Princeton’s Certificate Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems.
While robotics may pose a threat to humans in some traditional manufacturing jobs, the multitude of job opportunities that they will create are something that companies must take note of.