Is robotics mechanical or electrical engineering?

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Well, this question has always been asked and discussed in several online tech forums. Individuals do give their own views and mostly, you will get confused since it’s hard to decide which answer perfectly suits the question because the answers usually appear to have the same weight. None of the sides do win. In this article, we are going to clear your doubts and come clear in answering this question. Are you ready? Guess so, let’s go!

Robotics is defined as a multidisciplinary area that comprises several fields such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and lastly computer science.  This area also covers embedded programming, control systems, automated decision making and even power electronics.

These disciplines, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science, must work hand in hand to sense, think and also act. These are the core properties of the robotic system. Again, robotic topic opportunities are not limited to computer vision, artificial intelligence, robotic dynamics, and lastly, human-robot interaction.

To answer this question in an easy and precise way, robotics needs both mechanical and electrical engineering. All these fields are needed equally; none is more important or valued as compared to another. Robotics is both mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.

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Is robotics mechanical or electrical engineering
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What is mechanical engineering?

Mechanical engineering is one of the engineering branches that mainly combine Physics and Mathematics principles together with Materials science to help in designing, analyzing, manufacturing and maintaining mechanical systems. Again, it’s worth stating that it’s one of the oldest and relatively broadest among all the engineering branches.

For you to venture into themechanical engineering space, you will be required to understand core areas that are not limited to:

· Mechanics

· Dynamics

· Thermodynamics

· Materials science

· Structural analysis

· Electricity

Mechanical engineers also work hand in hand with tools such as:

· Computer Aided Design (CAD)

· Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

· Product lifecycle that is used to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and even machinery, heating and even cooling and many others.

In other terms, mechanical engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on the design, production and even operation of machinery. This branch of engineering emerged centuries back and can mainly be related to the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 18th century. This field has gradually evolved to embrace advancements. Some of the things that we can boast of today are areas such as:

· Composites

· Mechatronics

· Nanotechnology

Lastly, mechanical engineers can also fit and work in areas such as biomedical engineering; more so with biomechanics, transport phenomena, nanotechnology, biomechatronics and even modeling of the biological systems.

What are some of the major subjects that one needs to study to be a mechanical engineer? Well, these subjects include:

· Mathematics, in particular, Calculus, differential equations, and even linear algebra

· Basic physical sciences is also necessary, and they also include physics and chemistry

· Statistics and dynamics

· Strength of materials and also solid mechanics

· Materials engineering and composites

· Thermodynamics, heat transfer, energy conversion, and HVAC

· Fuels, combustion, Internal combustion engine

· Fluid mechanics and not limited to fluid statistics and fluid dynamics

· Mechanism and machine design and also not limited to kinematics and dynamics

· Instrumentation and measurement

· Manufacturing engineering, technology or even processes

· Vibration, control theory and control engineering

· Hydraulics and Pneumatics

· Mechatronics and robotics

· Engineering design and even product design

· Drafting

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What is electrical engineering?

Electrical engineering can easily be defined as an engineering branch that is majorly concerned with the study, design and even application of equipment, devices and also systems that use electricity, electronics, and, lastly, electromagnetism. You should also know that this field emerged as an identifiable area during the latter half of the 19th century. This was after the commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electrical power generation, distribution and even use.

As you read this, electrical engineering is divided into several fields that are not limited to computer engineering, systems engineering, power engineering, telecommunications, radio frequency engineering, signal processing, instrumentation and even electronics. You must have noticed that most of the above-mentioned disciplines overlap with other engineering branches, thus creating a massive number of specializations such as hardware engineering, power electronics, electromagnetics and waves, nanotechnology, microwave engineering, electrochemistry, renewable energies, mechatronics, and lastly, electrical materials science.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that electrical engineers do hold a degree in electrical engineering or electronic engineering. However, practicing engineers may have professional certification and be listed as members of a professional body or even also an international standards organization. Some of these bodies include the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and also the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Regarding how Electrical engineers work, they always work in a very wide range of industries, and also the skills that are needed are always variable. These can range from just a circuit theory to the management skills of a project manager. What are some of the tools that electrical engineers use to perform their assigned tasks? The tools and equipment that these engineers may need are relatively variable. They can range from just a simple voltmeter to even complex design and manufacturing software. You may find out about some of the tools that are used in this field.

10 reasons why robotics is mechanical engineering

If robotics is mechanical engineering, what are some of the reasons or factors that may help prove this? Well, we are going to find and list some of the reasons why some people claim that robotics is all about mechanical engineering. These reasons include:

· Just like mechanical engineering focuses on building cars, smartphones, the same as the invention of robots.

· Robots’ bodies are basically designed by mechanical engineers

· The movements in robots is also designed by mechanical engineers

· Most of the sensors that are present in the robots are built by mechanical engineers

· Maintenance of robots still requires mechanical engineering knowledge

· Fixing robots’ bodies is done by mechanical engineers

· Replacing broken or worn-out robot parts is done by mechanical engineers

· Technology needed for the robots to operate strongly relies on mechanical engineering knowledge

· Any form of fluid, such as lubrication and many others relies on the knowledge of mechanical engineering

· The design and drafting of robots strongly relies on the help of a mechanical engineer

From the 10 above listed reasons and factors that support that robotics is all about mechanical engineering, are you fully convinced, or you totally agree that robotics is mainly associated with mechanical engineering? If not, let us also list some of the potential reasons why others claim that robotics is all about electrical engineering, right? Let’s dive in.

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10 reasons why robotics is electrical engineering

Are you joining those who claim that robotics is all about electrical engineering? Regardless of your view or opinion, we are going to list down or even explain some of the reasons or factors that make some people believe that robotics is all about electrical engineering. Some of these reasons and factors are not limited to:

· Designing robots is majorly concerned with electrical engineering

· Robots use electricity

· Robot parts are majorly electronics

· Any type of power source used in robots is related to the knowledge of electrical engineering

· Robots are built with telecommunications in mind that is much about electrical engineering

· Data processing that is used in robots is also derived from the knowledge of electrical engineering

· Technologies such as nanotechnology are majorly concerned with electrical engineering

· All parts of robots are powered thus mainly depend on electrical engineering knowledge

· Sensors such as Infrared or and many others are all about electrical engineering

· The coordination of robot parts is mainly enabled through electrical engineering

With all the above points that are supporting that robotics is all about electrical engineering, are you convinced, or did you join this group in claiming that robotics is all about electrical engineering? If still, you do not agree with this claim, can you accept that robotics is all about mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, as earlier stated in the introduction? Let’s find out.

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10 reasons why robotics is both mechanical and electrical engineering

Many people and professionals do accept this statement that robotics is all both mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. What are some of the reasons that give this statement a massive amount of support, unlike the two previous statements? Well, we are going to list down some of these reasons so that you can understand. These reasons include:

· Robot systems comprise of ideas and knowledge in both mechanical and electrical engineering

· A robot cannot operate if one of these branches of science is amiss

· Robotic parts are both mechanical and electrical

· Robotic definition states that it’s a multidisciplinary area that covers both the mechanical and electrical engineering fields

· Core objectives in robotics cannot be achieved without the combination of the two areas

· Technologies used in robots require both the expertise in mechanical and electrical engineering

· Creating robots demands ideas both from the mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines

· For a robot’s parts to coordinate smoothly, they must be both mechanically and electrically enabled

· A robot will require knowledge in electrical engineering for the power options, and also it needs mechanical knowledge to facilitate its movements. This proves that it’s a win-win situation.

· Just like any other device or even cars, both branches are needed; thus, the same applies to robots

10 reasons why robotics is mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and both mechanical and electrical engineering

The below table summarizes the 10 reasons why robotics is mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and both mechanical and electrical engineering.

10 reasons why robotics is mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and both mechanical and electrical engineering

The below table summarizes the 10 reasons why robotics is mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and both mechanical and electrical engineering.

10 reasons why robotics is mechanical engineering

10 reasons why robotics is electrical engineering

10 reasons why robotics is both mechanical and electrical engineering

Just like mechanical engineering focuses on building cars, smartphones, same as the invention of robots.

 

Designing robots is majorly concerned with electrical engineering

 

Robot system comprises of ideas and knowledge in both mechanical and electrical engineering

 

Robots’ bodies are basically designed by mechanical engineers

 

Robots use electricity

 

A robot  cannot operate if one of these branches of science misses

 

The movements in robots is also designed by mechanical engineers

 

Robot parts are majorly electronics

 

Robotic parts are both mechanically and electrically running

 

Most of the sensors that are present in the robots are built by the mechanical engineers

 

Any type of power source used in robots is related to the knowledge in electrical engineering

 

Robotic definition states that it’s a multidisciplinary area that covers both the mechanical and electrical engineering

 

Maintenance of robots still requires mechanical engineering knowledge

 

Robots are built with telecommunications in mind that is much about electrical engineering

 

Core objectives in robotics cannot be achieved without the combination of the two areas

 

Fixing robots’ bodies is done by mechanical engineers

 

Data processing that is used in robots is also derived from the knowledge in electrical engineering

 

Technologies used in robots require both the expertise in mechanical and electrical engineering

 

Replacing broken or worn out robot parts is done by mechanical engineers

 

Technologies such as nanotechnology are majorly concerned with the electrical engineering

 

Creating robots demands for both ideas from the mechanical and electrical engineering

 

Technology needed for the robots to operate strongly relies on the mechanical engineering knowledge

 

All parts of robots are powered thus mainly depend on electrical engineering knowledge

 

For a robot’s parts to coordinate smoothly, they must be both mechanically and electrically enabled

 

Any form of fluid, such as lubrication and many others relies on the knowledge of mechanical engineering

 

Sensors such as Infrared or and many others are all about electrical engineering

 

A robot will require knowledge in electrical engineering for the power options and also it needs mechanical knowledge to facilitate its movements. This proves that it’s a win – win situation

The design and drafting of robots strongly lies on the help of a mechanical engineer

 

The coordination of robot parts is mainly enabled through electrical engineering

 

Just like any other device or even cars, both branches are needed thus the same applies to robots

 

Which engineering is more related to robotics?

After arguing about which branch of science between mechanical engineering and electrical is robotics, someone may ask that now which of the two is more related to robotics than the other? Well, this question is also very difficult to answer but when carefully analyzed, indeed, there’s a perfect answer that perfectly matches the question. Which among the vast branches of science is more related to robotics? Let’s clear the doubts and confirm the guesses if they are right. Here we go!

So, the answer to this question is that Mechanical engineering is one of the best foundations on which you can build robotic knowledge. In other words, one of the branches of science that is considered to be more related to robotics is mechanical engineering. Electrical engineering can also be considered to be less slightly related to robotics as compared to that of mechanical engineering. Reasons that make mechanical engineering more related to robotics are so many and also have more weight as compared to other branches of science such as electrical.

What’s your take? Do you agree with the above answer to this question? If not, what branch of science do you suggest is more related to robotics and also, can you justify your statement? You can find out this by asking this similar question in tech forums or other platforms such as Quora and even Reddit. Be very careful with the answers you will receive because most of them are more likely to be opinion-based, and also, you will get some that are also neutral. From there, you will clearly see which branch of science wins. What are you waiting for? Take a short break and post this question on the above-mentioned platforms or any other place that you feel you can get answers and begin analyzing the replies.

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What is the difference between electrical engineering and mechanical engineering?

This also another hard-to-crack question, but with extensive research done, you will clearly notice a distinction between these two branches of science. Now, what is exactly the difference? According to trusted sources, the biggest distinction that many are likely to notice between mechanical and electrical engineering is how energy is used in each discipline. You will be told that electrical engineers majorly focus on power generation. These are things like electricity, while mechanical engineers focus on how the power is applied and also getting physical parts, motors, and even components that can easily react in the desired manner. Are you getting the difference?

What are some of the machines that can be designed by mechanical engineers? Well, mechanical engineers may design or manufacture things that are not limited to internal combustion engines, gas turbines, fans that are used in air conditioning units, and even rechargeable batteries that are used in handheld devices.

Are you thinking about more products that are built by mechanical engineers? Well, mechanical engineers design products such as material handling systems such as conveyor belts, pulleys, and even automated transfer stations. They also investigate technical glitches with sensors or even with components and provide a solution to how they can be fixed or also how they can be prevented.

How about electrical engineers? What are some of the operations that they are known for? When you speak about power usage and generation, the next thing may be about the electrical engineers. Electrical engineers may be tasked with finding new or even alternative methods of utilizing electricity or even think about other potential energy sources that improve efficiency and even cost savings. They may also be asked to examine issues that are a drawback to ensuring that an electronic, technological, or even a service-related device works efficiently.

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Is building robots more electrical or mechanical engineering?

In the previous paragraph, we mentioned some tasks that are done by both mechanical engineers and electrical engineers. When discussing what mechanical engineers do build, we mentioned things like internal combustion engines, gas turbines, fans that aids in air conditioning, and lastly, batteries that are used in handheld devices, right?

How about electrical engineers? Some of the tasks that they are known to undertake are related to power usage and even power generation. They are also known for finding better methods of utilizing electricity or even coming up with other possible energy sources that are relatively less costly and efficient.

Between these mentioned tasks on both mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, which one among them tends to be related to building robots? It’s a clear guess that mechanical engineering will be everyone’s answer, isn’t that so? Without a doubt, you need to consider mechanical engineering to be more necessary in building robots as compared to electrical engineering that mainly focuses on power usage and generation.

Which degree will allow you to work with robots?

Are you wondering about which degree you need to pursue to enable you to work with robots? Well, if you choose to study mechanical engineering and even electrical engineering, you will still stand a chance to work with robots because these two branches of science are the major pillars of robotics. Robotics comprises knowledge in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and also knowledge in computer science. You cannot take any step in the robotics world if you choose to prefer one of the domains since, at one given point, a given idea of a different branch will be required.

With all that said, you only need to keep in mind that among the three listed degrees, you can still find your way into robotics. But you should also know that mechanical engineers and electrical engineers are always more preferred than any other degree that you think of. If you have not taken any of the above degrees, then you can decide and pursue one that will eventually benefit you later.

Conclusion

Just after reading this entire article, you will summarize that mechanical engineering is closer to robotics than any other science branches. Even if you are after working with the robots, mechanical engineering is still preferred among all other available degrees. Do you possess a mechanical degree and you are thinking about venturing into the robotics sector? Consider that as a plus, and begin your journey today. There are several careers that you can choose from. Good luck!

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Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.