As the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been occurring since the middle of the last century, robotics has been evolving at an exponential pace. This explosive growth leads to the increase in the need for engineers, including roles in artificial intelligence, software, electrical engineer and mechanical engineer.
Artificial intelligence (AI) engineer
AI engineer is among the most in-demand roles in every industry, especially robotics. Their major responsibilities are to build such features as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translation between languages for robots
- AI researcher: They need to have patience and a firm understanding of mathematics and algorithms. AI researchers will delve into each algorithm for such tasks as image recognition, natural language processing, identification, speech processing, etc. They provide proven algorithms on specific models and data sets for other engineering teams. For example, algorithms for face recognition, gender classification, handwriting recognition, etc.
- AI app developer: AI developers apply algorithms into specific products. They need to be well-informed of algorithms, programming languages and appropriate platforms.
- Data engineer: Putting products into practice needs a lot of data so that this team help standardize data from the researcher team to train the machine.
- Engineer who analyzes user behaviors and test AI apps: Analyzing human behaviors is important to help the app interact well with users. The team will analyze and check users’ response before putting the app on the market.
Software engineer develop service applications on operating systems (Window, Mac, Linux), Cloud (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud ) and web browsers (Chrome, Edge, Coc Coc) which have specific tools, development kits, instructions for programmers to build applications. Software engineer will design a system directly on the robot, cloud, as well as other platforms that can interact with humans easily.
- Back-end Developer: Their main tasks are to develop software and services on cloud or server. To become a backend developer, you need to have critical thinking.
- Font-end Developer: Their main tasks are to create interface and websites. It is suitable for those who like design, know how to use design tools, mix colors, layouts, and build themes from basic platform languages.
- Mobile Developer: This team will develop software on mobile, such as Android or iOS, and design game on mobile and on the screen of robots.
- Voice User Interface Developer: Such applications without screen and interface as Alexa – Amazon or Google Home are booming in the world. The mission of this group is to build interactive applications for robots, for example, FUNNY applications connected to the AI cloud services.
- Tester: They ensure the quality of finished products. Before launching a product, its functions were thoroughly tested to avoid unexpected problems and errors. This job is suitable for those who like software and those who are detailed and careful.
- DevOps: They will be in charge of managing resources and servers to make sure that products are running smoothly on different cloud platforms.
- Full Stack Developer: This group is in-demand in many startups. Engineers have all skills required, meaning they can tackle projects that involve databases, building user-facing websites, or even work with clients during the planning phase of projects.
Electrical and electronic engineers
This group of engineers have a firm understanding in programming embedded devices (refrigerators, air conditioners, televisions, motorcycles, cars, etc.), electronic components, sensors, motors, circuit boards-PCB, programming tools for embedded microcontrollers, embedded computers and real-time embedded operating systems. They mostly use basic languages like C/C++ to ensure the robot senses and interacts with the environment. For example, to make the robot walk up the stairs, they need to determine when the robot has stepped on, whether the floor is hard or soft, how to step on the stairs, etc.
- Control algorithm expert: They control the engine, an impossible part of the robot, work with different environments. You need to be excel in mathematics, critical thinking and formulas to become one.
- PCB design engineer: They design electronic circuit boards to help mount electronic components to the product. They also design multi-layer circuits for computers, phones or large-capacity circuits for giant motors such as wind generators.
- Firm-ware engineer: They mostly use low-level languages like C/C++. You need to be familiar with circuits, electronics as well as basic communication standards of machines.
- Mid-ware engineer: Such complex products as cars, televisions or phones often have a middle ware before building applications. Midware will help software to communicate with specific functions such as sensors, motors, leds, etc. The midware will be developed on OS, such as linux.
- Automation engineer: Ones need to be informed of basic electrical techniques and usage of products. Thus they can replace some details based on drawings when a problem come up.
- Full-stack electrical engineer: Ones need to know all of the above skills and design a complete product.
Mechanical Engineers need to be excel at 3D design software, machine tools and materials and have the ability to calculate and simulate products. Currently, this group of engineers is involved in designing and fabricating the external parts of such devices as televisions, air conditioners, washing machines, printers, cars, refrigerators, etc. For such complex item as robot, the mechanical engineers have to imagine the actual operation, design the appropriate appearance and simulate interactions in virtual environments.
- Simulation and kinetics expert: You need to like spatial geometry, mathematics and physics. Experts build robot simulation systems in the design process, before put the products into production.
- Design engineer: You need to have good imagination, love spatial geometry and fabrication and know how to use 3D drawing tools. Drawing and designing parts of robots are also essential skills for design engineers.
- System simulation engineer: Base on algorithms of researchers to calculate each product.
- Manufacturing and processing engineers: Understand machine tools and have the ability to turning designs on paper into mass-produced products.
- Machine tools operation engineer: Understand general knowledge and operating principles of the machine.
- Full-stack mechanical engineer: Understand all of the above tasks, DIY and design and production.
Technology managers are used to be full-stack engineers. They have long-term view, industry knowledge and good communication skills. Specifically, those who manages technology in robotics also need to know the skills of 4 group above.
- Software/Hardware Architect: They have the general view and offer technology solutions for each problem. Therefore, they have the ability to form blueprints for engineers to make products.
- Product Manager: Like architects, they have the broad view on the systems, but also have the strategic perspective for the product and understanding the market and customers, which is useful for product development. They need to have good communication skills to work with customers, leaders, and engineers.
- CTO: This is the highest position of a technology expert. They are used to be product managers and have soft skills. With technology orientation, they help guide proper technology for the vibe, market, and employees of businesses.
In the near future, technology has been evolving at an exponential pace. Therefore, there is a drastic growth in the need for full-stack engineers, who are knowledgeable about hardware, software, and all 4 skills of the Industrial revolutions, to build robots for the future.
Le Ngoc Tuan
- Part 1: Learn and practice Robot for 21st century children!
- Part 2: Robot programming for 7-12 year-old children
- Part 3: Creating robots and products for children aged 12-16
- Part 4: Robot competitions for children in and out of the country
- Part 5: Self-study resources for creative thinking and robotics programming