Make It Digital – Robotics

TeenTech are one of the partners in the BBC’s Make It Digital and BBC micro:bit projects.

We want to help students, teachers and parents see just where an interest in tech can take you. So we’re providing resources not only to help you  get the most from your BBC micro:bit and also to gain the inside track on careers in the most exciting industries of the future.

Our first film explores  the world-famous Bristol Robotics Laboratory to showcase opportunities in robotics.

We asked the Lab to give us their advice on how you could take your interest in robotics further …

What kind of person do I need to be?
You need to be someone who is determined, gets satisfaction from solving problems and likes testing new ideas. You probably enjoy building, making or crafting things (if you want to work on hardware) or working with computers (if you want to focus on software) and can work as part of a team. You might prefer drawing or talking about ideas rather than writing about them.

What subject do I need to study if I want to work in robotics?
Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 17.55.40 The most typical subjects are Maths, ICT, Design & Technology and Physics, but depending on the type of robots you are interested in building you might also want study Biology, Art, Psychology or Chemistry. BTECs in different types of science and engineering are also a good starting point.
You can go to university and study robotics, electronic engineering, biomedical engineering, product design or computer science. You could also do an apprenticeship or HND/C and specialise in a robotics-related industry.


How big is the robotic industry in the UK?
Big, and growing! The government just invested £150 million in robotics to support the industry. Globally, the industry is predicted to be worth about £70 billion by 2025.

What opportunities will there be in the future?
Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 19.00.10There are opportunities in designing new types of robots to meet new challenges – in healthcare, transport, manufacturing and services. There are also jobs in fixing and maintaining robots, and programming robots for a huge range of applications.

What’s the best thing to do if I’m REALLY keen? 
If you want to work in robotics, the best first steps are studying related subjects and getting relevant work and practical experience.

What fun things can I do with robotics right now?
You’ll be able to use the BBC micro:bit to programme robots or drones. Find out if your school or area has a STEM club, robotics clubs or Maker groups. They will be able to help you find kit and get building. You can learn about the cutting edge of robotics on blogs such as Keep practicing your coding skills and programming – even if you haven’t got a robot to programme (yet!). If you have access to kit, try to put your ideas to the test and enter a robotics competition – Lego, Vex and others run annual competitions. An of course you could also enter a project for the TeenTech Awards or the TeenTech City of Tomorrow

You can see everything we’re doing for the BBC micro:bit project here.

And if you want to understand more about the work done by Bristol Robotics…look at this amazing project