24/05/2021

Categories: Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Postgraduate

The Rise of Robotics: Trends in 2021

What’s next in the world of robotics engineering? Here’s a look at the shiny new concepts just around the corner…

The new 12-month Master of Science Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Telecommunications (MSc ROBUST) course at the University of Bolton aims to provide students with a solid grounding in the latest technologies being used to shape a smarter future.

As well as the roll-out of 5G, the next decade will see robots becoming a major part of transformation in the run-up to Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. And our programme will teach you everything there is to know, helping you gain relevant experience for a number of job roles.

If you’re interested in studying robotics engineering with us, here are some of the top trends in 2021 and beyond that could shape your career:

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Artificial Intelligence software

In the coming years, robots will be learning new tricks. This is because they will be powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a combination of vision and sensing technologies. Together these technologies will make it easier for bots to complete complex tasks, shifting us into a new era of intelligent robotic engineering.

Smart factories

As robots get smarter, so will the industries they are deployed in, including in manufacturing and distribution. Smart factories will become commonplace, and assembly lines will be backed by industrial robotics and automated solutions. So we can expect processes to be faster, more efficient and much more accurate, with fewer discrepancies.

The future will see networked interaction of robots and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) too, requiring less maintenance and human intervention.

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The rise of ‘cobots’

One of the biggest trends in robotic and electronic engineering is the application of collaborative bots, known as ‘cobots’. These robots are designed to work safely and effectively alongside the human workforce, without the need for any health and safety barriers put in place.

Using advanced sensors and software (and things such as end-of-arm-tooling), these bots can quickly detect changes in their work environment, allowing them to respond as required, keeping humans away from risk of injury.

According to forecasts, this segment is set to grow dramatically by 2025 thanks to new developments in programmable software.

The use of commercial drones

We’ll also see advancements in commercial drones, including autonomous systems that can be used beyond the visual sight lines. Due to more effective sensors, improved battery design and lightweight body materials, drones will be much more nimble and will likely be deployed for new purposes.

From logistics and transportation to military applications, drones will become a candidate for a variety of sectors and specialisms.

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Self-healing robots

Flexible plastics embedded with sensor fibres can make a robot able to spot damage to its structure, and therefore initiate self-repair. This revolutionary self-healing technology removes the need for human repair and maintenance, ensuring a cost and time-effective operation across industries.

The breakthrough project, named ‘SHERO’ (Self-Healing Soft Robot) is currently being developed and tested at the Free University in Brussels (Vrije University of Brussels or VUB), and could deliver industry-changing results in the coming years.

If all of this fascinates you, studying robotic engineering or electronic engineering technology at master’s level could be the right pathway for you. Our Master of Science Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Telecommunications (MSc ROBUST) course is ideal for engineering graduates looking to take their skills to the next level.

To find out more about applying in September 2021, visit our course page.

Or if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)1204 903 394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk.

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