Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 15, 2013

Demand expected to be high in remote control robotics field

The class subject sounds fascinating: Remote control robotics. The opportunity for future employment is grabbing: High demand.

Now, Northwestern Michigan College is looking for 50 or so students to sign up for slots in the associate degree program that will lead to jobs in that field..

“We are providing a very lean educational path to high-demand, high-skill, high-wage jobs,” said Keith Kelly, who teaches students how to program and maintain computerized robots. New applications are being developed so that robots can explore and operate in water, land or air.

Salaries in those fields start at $60,000 and reach $100,000 or more within a few years, he said.

Demand for persons trained in remote control robotics is expected to become even more competitive when drones win FAA approval and are adapted for a wide range of civilian applications. It’s expected they will be used to locate wildfires, assist in search and rescues, and provide help in crop inspections.

Currently they are used in military operations.

Tony Sauerbrey, who teaches unmanned aerial systems, said future oppor­tunities will lie mostly with drone manufacturers hir­ing for their research and development divisions. That is expected within the next two years.

The college has set its sights on becoming a nationally recognized Unmanned Systems and Robotics Center. Northwestern Michigan College already earned international recognition for its underwater marine robotics endeavors.

 

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Details for this story were provided by The Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Mich.

 

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