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Are these skills possible to acquire if you do not have a university background? I am self taught in everything, also learning math. I am make great money in frontend but would like to work with a more interesting skill set.

I think you can learn a lot if you become very familiar with ROS and just start building things (on the software side at least - much harder to pick up electronics and mechanics if only because of the material and machining costs). My first real foray into robotics was with OpenCV (which is part of ROS) many years ago. There are lots of tutorials online - find something you think is interesting and build it and go from there. If you really like it then start going to meetups (there are enough in the Bay Area for robotics) and meet other people, some of whom are amateurs and some of whom are professionals.

That would be my advice, although I have a university background so take what I say with a grain of salt.

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