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Robotics: Mech or EE?

  1. Dec 27, 2007 #1
    I'm hoping to start uni next Sept and am considering my options. I was keen to study mechanical engineering, but I did some reading about robotics, specifically to do with prosthetics, and it sounds amazing. It appeals particularly because med school was an option for me too at one point, but I decided I wasn't suited to hospitals and patients. But the desire to really make an impact in helping patients is still very strong. I have looked at Bioengineering courses and Medical Physics, but I want to keep my options open in Engineering, which is partly why MechEng is so attractive. Now I'm wondering whether EE would be more useful if I wanted to specialise in Robotics later. I think I would enjoy studying either EE or MechEng as a degree on their own. And from what I've been reading, the job opportunities and salaries for both are pretty even?

    I should add, I'm applying to UK unis, so I have to decide pretty much now. The modules required in each first year course are so different, it would be difficult to switch later unless I retake the year. I'm applying as a mature student of 28 so I can't afford anymore restarts.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2007 #2
    Both components are heavily needed within the field of robotics. Depends on if you want to design the mechanical or electrical aspects of it.

    Either way, if you study MechE, you can take some elementary EE courses (Circuits, Digital Logic Design) or if you study EE, you can take some elementary MechE courses (Statics/Dynamics) as electives.

    Since you want to work on prosthetics, it might be advantageous to get the MechE degree.
  4. Jan 6, 2008 #3
    I worked for a large robotics company for a while, as a physicist working in an optical engineering capacity (designing advanced rotary encoders). Most of my coworkers had EE or ME backgrounds - the EE's worked on the electronics and controls, the ME's designed the structures. There were probably about as many from each discipline, with a few oddball applied physicists like me working on more advanced long-term R&D projects.
  5. Jan 8, 2008 #4
    Thanks for the advice! I'll be applying to Mech by the end of the week. I've also ordered a Lego Mindstorms kit :)
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