Chase Johnson, senior at Colgate University majoring in History and minoring in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies wrote this article published on July 13, 2015 on 1776.vc about the prospects of robots and how as he put it: “ The robot is becoming an integral part of the global economy. For decades, industries have been using fully or semi-automated machines to improve efficiency and decrease labour costs. Every day, new reports and stories come out about innovations in robotics that have the potential to change our lives. Yet, even with all of the coverage and excitement, it remains difficult to gauge the extent of robotic integration in many industries.”
More recently this other article of Dr. Matthew Lynch reproduced here covering the education sector has shed some light on what remain still an non treaded path towards AI.
ROBOTICS, THE NEXT BIG THING IN HIGHER EDUCATION?
Without a doubt, robotics is the next big thing in education. Like it or not, robots and robotics are the future. The sooner we accept robotics in schools and educate our children about robotics, the more prepared they will be for that future. Now, robotics is a reality at universities around the world, but imagine the possibilities if children entered those college programs already equipped with some robotic knowledge.
In this article, we have listed some interesting stories from universities to prove that there is already quite an interest in robotics after high school.
Geoffrey Louie, a former Ph.D. student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at Toronto’s University of Toronto, said that he fell in love with robots watching cartoons as a child, and adds that the Star Wars character C3PO was a big part of his life. He is currently developing Tangy, a nursing robot that can provide social and cognitive stimulations to long-term care residents through group based recreational activities. His current goal is to create a robot that can help people both physically and socially. Control and sensing technologies are his areas of expertise, and he uses them to design intelligent and useful systems.
Goldie Nejat, Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor and Director of IRM (Institute for Robotics & Mechatronics) at the University of Toronto, says that innovation and research in robotics have become very popular with students at colleges and universities. IRM includes a various range of disciplines such as industrial, mechanical, and biomedical engineering. Main specialization areas include food processing, healthcare, information, and communications technology (ICT), aerospace, and information.
The university has stellar relations with commercial and industrial enterprises, such as Google, MDA, General Motors, and research facilities and major hospitals.
Nejat says that there are currently 360 students studying industrial and mechanical engineering, but when she was a student, that number was only 50.
At the University of Waterloo, mechanical engineering is one of the most popular programs. Dr. William W. Melek, University Director of Mechatronics Engineering, credits the university as the first to start a mechatronics program (a combination of software and mechanical and electrical engineering) in 2003. The program was created to build and design robots and robotic systems. To date, 300 students, most of whom were international students, have graduated from this program.
Waterloo is opening a new facility called Robohub that will be used for advanced and specialized research of magnetic levitation, humanoid robotics, autonomous ground, and unmanned aerial. The facility is slated to open in either late 2017 or early 2018.
Meanwhile, at the Centennial College of Toronto, the industrial robotics program has been developed to meet new-age industries demands, per Tito Khandaker, program coordinator, and professor at SETAS (School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science).
Khandaker says that graduates learn a lot of theory, math, and physics, and the school also offers practical engineering—an innovative approach compared to other colleges.
The automotive sector has the biggest job market for robotics graduates, along with other sectors such as pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Matthew Lynch is an award winning writer, activist. He spent seven years as a K-12 teacher – an experience that gave him an intimate view of the challenges facing genuine education reform. With that experience behind him, he has focused the second stage of his career on researching topics related to education reform, the achievement gap, and teacher education. What Dr. Lynch has found is that improving teacher education is an essential component in closing the achievement gap. Dr. Lynch’s articles and op eds appear regularly in the Huffington Post, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, and Education Week. He’s also written numerous peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in academic journals such as AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, International Journal of Progressive Education, Academic Leadership Journal, and others. In addition, he has authored and edited a number of books on school reform and school leadership. Please visit his website at www.drmattlynch.com for more information.