Robotics

 

Robotics is the science and technology of the design, manufacturing and application of robots in a wide range of fields. Robots are designed to perform a variety of tasks aimed at making people's lives easier. They are capable of undertaking tasks with a level of precision, strength, and endurance beyond human levels and they are an ideal substitute for workers in repetitive, hazardous, and laborious jobs in manufacturing applications. As safety becomes more important to employers facing potentially hazardous situations in industry, robots and robotics technologies are in more demand than ever. Robots can fix satellites in space, perform underwater surveys, help in mining explorations, clean up nuclear waste, or operate in security situations. They can be also used in remotely controlled surgery or health care related areas.

Advances in computer technology combined with artificial intelligence have paved the way for smarter robots to find their way to our life doing tasks such as cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, communicating with people, helping the disabled, or acting as a modern learning tool. Robots have revolutionised the toy and game industry and have combined playing and effective learning together. The robotics industry is in need of more and more engineers to take their knowledge and skills in building better robots that perform more intelligently. According to the Australian Robotics and Automation Association, the education and training of the next generation of robotics professionals is critical to maintaining Australia's place as a world leader in robotics. Robotics degree combines electronics, computer control, signal processing, and programming in the design, development and operation of robots, and their integration with other systems in the work environment.

Career Opportunities 

In the light of rapidly evolving robotic technology, industry will constantly be in need of new graduates in the field. Students who complete the robotics degree can work directly with robots in the manufacturing environments as robotics or systems engineers. They can also take employment in industries that build robots for different applications such as manufacturing, health care related, security, cutting edge household appliances, or state of the art toys as a robot system designer, automation expert, or similar titles. Some of the local industries include automotive industries, electronic industries, and defence related organisations.

There is already a substantial shortage of electronic engineers in South Australia. South Australia's Technology Industry Association (TIA) indicates that the electronics-based industries will continue to grow rapidly with a sustainable growth rate of 20% per year and with exports in excess of $1 billion per annum. The Electronics and IT sectors together employ about 18,000 people in South Australia. However, the electronics industry strategic plan also identifies the shortage of skilled personnel as the most significant factor that could limit the growth and development of SA's electronics industry (source: TIA). 

Courses offered:

Research and Higher Degrees

Our research centres represent a long-term statement of our research directions. They will contain different research programs from time to time.  Most postgraduate students are associated with a research centre.

There is a strong connection between robotic and prosthetic technology, and thus one of the major areas where robotic technology is used in practical applications is in the area of medical devices such as those research by the Medical Device Research Institute.

The scifi idea of an intelligent robot is becoming increasingly a reality, with a focus on groups of robots acting autonomously and interacting in a social way with their physical environment and human users, controllers, colleagues or companions – communicating using language, gesture and even appropriate expression.  This research is pursued by the Centre for Knowledge and Interaction Technologies.

While we often think of robots as landbased machines, from assembly line robots to autonomous vehicles, it is clear that marine, submarine, aerial and terrestrial robots all have useful applications, and pose distinct problems in terms of navigation, imaging, communication, etc.  This research is of interest to the Centre for Maritime Engineering, Control and Imaging.

Current opportunities for higher degree study are outlined on the Research Higher Degrees page.

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