University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.
UAT attended CactusCon 2017 in the Robotics Village on Saturday, October 1, at Phoenix Convention Center.
UAT Professor Joseph Horen showed off robot demonstrations as well as Arduino programming labs for attendees to learn to program and see the results via the hardware.
The Robotics Village was a new edition to Cactus Con but turned out to be a popular event for 8-17-year-olds who wanted to learn about Cyber Security and Robotics.
Have you been inside the New Technology Lab (NT Lab) lately? There are some new devices for UAT’s population of tech savvy individuals to use on campus. Stop in to the Bindery for a key to the NT Lab and get your innovative juices flowing with new technology!
Kor-FX Gaming Vest: The Kor-FX is a haptic feedback vest that lets you feel the game you are playing or developing. As part of the Virtual Reality Station, students will be able to combine the vest with the Oculus Rift to create truly immersive experiences.
Sphero Robotic Ball
Sphero: Sphero, an addition to the Mobile Development Station, will allow students to program a ball with a built in gyroscope. Students will be able to program games and other experiences that involve the robotic ball.
Cube 3D Touch Stylus: The Touch Stylus is a haptic 3D drawing device currently located at the 3D Print and Scan Station. Students will be able to sculpt their 3D models using this pen and feel the model as they manipulate it.
Epson BrightLink: The BrightLink is an interactive projector that allows students to manipulate the projection as if it were a tablet. Students will be able to map out their projects and collaborate with other students on a giant interactive screen.
Perception Neuron Motion Capture Suit
Perception Neuron: The Neuron is a 32-point wearable motion capture device set to be installed at the Virtual Reality station. Students will be able to motion capture themselves without needing a full motion capture setup and will be able to export their data to their Oculus Rift based games easily.
Oculus Rift: A Virtual Reality headset that allows you to step into your favorite game, get immersed in a movie or take a virtual tour, with the aid of special electronic equipment like a helmet, headset or gloves with sensors.
Epson Moverio Glasses: The Moverio glasses are an augmented reality display in a similar vein to Google Glass. It is powered by Android OS and will allow students at the Virtual Reality station to explore new ways to gamify the world.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help in using any of these new devices- that’s why they are here – for students to use! Maker Tech Mike Syfritt is happy to assist students with any of the new gadgets in the NT Lab.
In the depths of the Antarctic Ocean, robotic scientists deployed autonomous robots where no human has gone before with the goals of uncovering the speed of ice loss, obtaining samples of “salinity and temperature, oxygen and some optical properties of the water, [and predicting] future sea level rise,” according to CNN.
The field of robotics stretches far beyond the lair of the Emperor Penguin. Roboticists utilize emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to create smart robots that provide companionship to the elderly, help with search and rescue, crawl into small spaces, fix airplane engines, cook your food, entertain humans with their acrobatics and move potted plants in and out of the sun.
“Robotics is hardware, but it’s also software, embedded systems programming, problem solving, design and debugging multiple iterations,” said Dr. Jill Coddington, Program Champion of Robotics & Embedded Systems, Advancing Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Web Design, of the University of Advancing Technology (UAT).
“The definition of a robot, and what robotics encompasses, is huge. Your little autonomous vacuum that runs around your house and vacuums for you is a robot. A slot machine is a robot. The field of robotics is expanding so much, it covers more than it ever before,” Dr. Coddington said.
What the field lacks is the talent to support its exponential growth.
According to Sokanu, the robotics engineer job market is expected to increase by 6.4 percent between 2016 and 2026. And over the next 10 years, the U.S. alone will need 12,500 engineers in the field. “The demand for automation and robotics will continue to fuel these high paying jobs, and we expect this to continue for the next 20 years,” Coddington said.
So why aren’t more people jumping at this opportunity? Coddington believes it’s a misperception of one’s skillset and that the ability to enter a field that is beyond their reach. In reality, “The only barrier to entry of robotics is education,” Coddington explained. “Because we need so many roboticists, once you have that education, companies know you have the basics, so you can get an entry level job. That company will train you on the specifics of what they are doing.”
Coddington said the type of person usually drawn to the field of robotics is a detail-oriented problem solver who is good at design and iteration and likes to tinker. If you think about it, every robot needs to be programmed, and every robot needs someone to maintain, care, iterate, build and design them.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a robotics engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree earns an average of more than $81,000 per year, and a robotics technician with an associate degree earns an average of $60,000 per year. Having experience in the field of robotics or at a manufacturing company can elevate your opportunities for positions, and the skillsets easily transfer from one employer to the next.
Coddington also debunked the notion that robots will take all of our jobs.
“The robotics industry has found that robots may replace some jobs, but they are mostly manual, dangerous or super high heat jobs. And we’re finding that the jobs we are gaining are the managers of the of the robots, where you care for or fix the robot. We’re getting higher paid jobs because of the robots,” Coddington said.
Taking the leap to enter the field of robotics takes curiosity, initiative and passion.
“The sky isn’t even the limit. We use robots to fix our satellites and explore the deep sea. Robots are becoming more pervasive in our lives. We’re going to see more and more robots all the time."
UAT offers online and in-person Robotics and Embedded Systems degree classes that teach you real-world skills needed for a position in the robotics field from day one. Students need little to no knowledge in robotics to start their education and will gain hands-on exposure to the latest technologies used in the current job market.
If you’re curious about programming, electrical engineering, digital maker or fabrication, UAT will help you take your skills set to the next level. You can learn more about earning your Robotics and Embedded Systems degree at UAT here.