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American university to develop robots for advanced manufacturing

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ARM InstituteClemson University (CU) has collaborated with Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, a robotics institute affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to develop next-generation robots for advanced manufacturing across textile industries.

Funded by United States Department of Defence (DOD) to develop, demonstrate and facilitate early adoption of novel robotic solutions, the institute has received US $ 80 million from the DOD and the remaining US $ 173 million from partner organizations. The DOD has awarded US $ 250 million to CMU to launch the ARM institute and will be led by a newly established independent non-profit organization, American Robotics, founded by CMU.

“The institute will tap into CMU’s research strengths in collaborative robotics, sensor technologies, materials science and human-computer interaction, areas that are rapidly transforming many sectors of our economy. With this unique partnership between academia, government and industry, CMU is poised to bridge the gap between research, innovation and practice in the emerging field of advanced manufacturing,” said Farnam Jahanian, Provost, CMU.

The main objective of the robotics institute is to increase worker productivity by 30 per cent and fill future manufacturing jobs. It also aims to make robots more accessible to small- to medium-sized business. Furthermore, CU will also help train the workers to operate the robots, as part of a US $ 253 million plan to fill roughly 510,000 jobs in manufacturing by 2025. It will introduce about 20 certification programs for 10,000 operators over the next five years which will involve virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

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“Contrary to a popular misperception, robotic automation in manufacturing is creating jobs rather than increasing unemployment. Companies in South Carolina and nationwide tell us the jobs are available but that we need educational programs to prepare operators with the critical STEM skills they need to qualify,” said Rebecca Hartley, Director of Operations – Center for Workforce Development, CU.

 

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