Asking for advice in pursuing a PhD in robotics

I have a MSc in electrical engineering: controls. The possibilities of finding a good work related to my interests is dim in the place where I live. So I’m planning to pursue a PhD abroad. I’d be grateful if anyone could share his/her experiences and advice related to these questions.

1- I want to work in industry after PhD, maybe start my own company. So I decided that if I want to assign 4 years to a PhD, it’d better be about a subject which could be commercialized. Therefore I thought that 1- industrial robotics, 2- motor control 3- motion control is the way to go. Is this evaluation/ vision sensible/correct ?

2- I’ve passed courses related to electrical machines, robotics (manipulators, vision), all kinds of controls (nonlinear, optimal,…) through the course of my BSc and MSc. But still, I don’t consider myself as someone who actually understands the field of motor/motion control. I don’t know how to drive/control a BLDC motor. I’ve never had practical experience controlling a motor or motion of something. It seems all I know is some vaguely connected concepts here and there. Should I even consider this field for PhD? Could I learn about different actuation techniques and their drives in early years of a robotics PhD?

3- My BSc thesis was about simulation of a manipulator using Dr.Corke’s MATLAB toolbox. MSc thesis was about building a sensor-based system for a robot (containing Arduinos, RF modules, IMUs and such). Later I’ve started to learn Arm Cortex. The thing is I like design of embedded systems and want to actually design/build something in my PhD. Could I do this or only theoretical work is expected in PhD and students won’t have time for these stuff or their own DIY electronics?

4- And finally, based on my interests, should I even apply for a robotics PhD (more mech/ee) or I’m better off applying for embedded (more ee/cs) or even electrical machines field (more ee)?

Sorry for this long post. I’ve kinda stuck on this problem here for months so I’d be grateful for any help.

I’m also gonna x-post it to different subreddits.


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