ABB creates SMART robot education package

Package intended to teach students the fundamentals of manufacturing automation technology.

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ABB Robotics has introduced the SMART Education Package, available to qualifying schools to help educate and provide hands-on training to students on the basics of manufacturing automation technology, and the programming, safe operation and maintenance of industrial robots.

The SMART (software, maintenance and robotics training) package certifies teachers and professors to teach robotics courses, provides curriculum and course outlines and materials, and provides a complete robotic training cell to schools at a reduced cost. A portion of the package may qualify for government STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subsidies, and schools can use the package to support their STEM education initiatives. The package curriculum can be adapted to meet the varying education levels of high schools, universities, community colleges, technical colleges, vocational schools and adult education centers.

ABB Robotics instructors train professors and teachers through a comprehensive curriculum that includes customized training courses, and hands-on robotics training at the ABB training center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Teachers can start the process with little or no robotic experience, and set their own timeline based on their specific schedule and availability. Once the teachers complete the full training they must pass a certification exam before they can teach courses to students at their own schools. The SMART package also includes course materials to support the newly certified instructors.

The robot training cell provided to schools will allow students to work directly with a six-axis industrial robot and RobotStudio, ABB’s proprietary, graphically based programming software. The cell, which is deeply integrated into the course curriculum, includes an ABB IRB 120 robot on a self-contained mobile cart, an ABB IRC5 robot controller and 50 licenses (seats) for RobotStudio.

“We feel it is vitally important for industry and education to work together as closely as possible, not only to expose students specifically to advanced manufacturing technology, but also to create interest and enthusiasm for science, engineering and math related pursuits of all kinds,” said Tim Paton, training manager, ABB Robotics, North America.  “We are pleased to add the SMART package to our portfolio of education related programs, and are optimistic that it will bring robotic technology and training to a wide range of schools.”

Expanding STEM related initiatives has been a priority for the educational community, supported by recent studies indicating that only 16% of US high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career, and that US students have fallen behind internationally, ranking 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations.

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