An internship is a period of employment between being formally trained and the beginning of full-time employment. Internships provide an opportunity for young people to gain practical work experience while they are studying or training.
A robotics internship can be an incredible opportunity for students to gain a hands-on introduction to the world of robotics and technology. There are several advantages of having an internship in the field of robotics, including the possibility to take part in the creation of future robots, as well as develop practical skills that will help you find a job after your studies.
How do I get a robotics internship for high school students?
Robotics is an exciting field to be in. Robots are designed to perform complex tasks, and their capabilities are advancing at a rapid pace. Robotics offers a variety of opportunities, but the good news is that many companies have internships open to people who want to learn more about robotics. Here’s what you need to know before applying for a robotics internship for high school students.
Become technically attractive and make an amazing portfolio!
Exposure over experience: You are in high school and you are very young. It is the perfect time to expose yourself to different avenues in robotics. You do not need to master any given topic in a day, just master the day studying about the topic. And it will take many days!
Learn to code: None of your robots will move or do anything fascinating if you do not know how to control it. If you are starting to code, please start with Python. It is used heavily in robotics and many other domains. Keep coding!
Close those circuits:
Robots also have a nervous system and a brain. Learn the art of circuitry, electrical components, actuators, and sensors. Start with Arduino. Work your way up to a Raspberry Pi!
Make a robot:
Rarely anyone has learned swimming/biking by reading a book on it. You have to get your hand’s dirty while at it. Start from the most basic of all robots, a 2-wheel drive robot, and work your way up.
How do I make my own robot step by step?
First, you need to decide what kind of robot you want to make. Each robot has a different set of dynamics, coding complexity, electronic requirements, power consumption, etc.
- 2-wheel drive mobile robot (beginner)
- 3-degree of freedom Robotic Arm (beginner)
- 6-legged spider robot – Hexapod (beginner/intermediate)
- Quadcopter (intermediate/advanced)
- Bipedal robot (intermediate/advanced)
- Depending on the type of robot you want to build, you will need a microcontroller that will be the brain of your robot. Go with Arduino UNO if you are a beginner. Raspberry Pi if you want to do heavier on-board computation such as image or video processing.
- Got to make your robot move. You will be looking into servo motors, dc motors, and/or stepper motors depending on your robot.
A senseless robot is not as interesting. Maybe install an infrared distance sensor, ultrasonic sensor, or camera. Wall-E needs its eyes, right?!
Obviously, you will need some form of mechanical structure to keep your robot together. Take a look at the image below to see how there is a base and the means for wheel placement.
You will need wires, a battery unit, and possibly a breadboard.
Power Distribution Board:
Again, the requirement of this electronic board is dependent on the kind of robot you are building. As the number of actuators on your robot increases, it is recommended to have a safe channel to distribute the power.
Of course, you will need to program your robot! Depending on your choice of the microcontroller or embedded unit, you will be coding either in C/C++ or Python most likely. There are other alternatives too.
Just enjoy the process of researching, learning to find the equipment, coding, and putting things together!
For a more detailed explanation of how to go about your robotics journey, you can check my answer here:
Create a portfolio: All your efforts, progress, and achievements are best represented in some form of document. Typically, it is in the form of a resume. I say that is too limiting. I’d advise you to have your own website showcasing the robots you have made along with photos and videos!
You do not need to make an Iron Man suit or a robot the world has never seen. Just make sure to nicely document and have an online address of your works.
Portfolio link: Raffaello.name | Works
Reach out: After investing time in yourself, it is time to reach out and network. Talk to your school’s career counselors, your friends’ uncles and aunts in the tech industry, LinkedIn associates, etc. Network to get work.
It will take time and effort. But hard work always pays off! You may have many telling you are still young, inexperienced, a lot of positions are for undergraduates, etc. But do not stop and do not give up!