The opening of the Vincennes University Jasper Collaborative Robotics Training Lab reinforces Vincennes University as the leader in providing access to innovative advanced technology in Dubois County.
VU officially celebrated the launch of the new cutting-edge “cobot” lab at the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Manufacturing on the Jasper Campus with an open house on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson joined Executive Chairman of Telamon Corporation Albert Chen and VU Jasper Assistant Vice President and Dean Christian Blome in unveiling the ex-citing new lab. Industry partners and community leaders observed and interacted with the cobots as they performed tasks like moving boxes, sanding a chair, and lifting items.
The lab is a result of a partnership with Carmel-based Telamon Robotics. It is made possible by the Lilly Endowment Inc. Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities grant funding.
According to Johnson, “VU is a leader in creating innovative solutions for industry partners across Indiana and throughout the country. In an ever-changing world, the University sees its role as the hub for new technologies, connecting students in K-12 and higher education with employers eager to recruit and hire a skilled, high-tech workforce. Through our partnership with Telamon Robotics, VU Jasper has become VU’s second collaborative robotics lab. We are excited to make this investment in the continued economic prosperity for Jasper, Dubois County, and the region.”
The modern educational space features 11 cobots designed to work alongside humans in many different industries, including manufacturing, medical, and aviation.
Cobots are deployed to support and improve the efficiency of the human worker and can be additional support for the human, giving them an extra set of hands. They enhance productiv-ity rather than replace humans in the workplace.
The training lab will facilitate VU’s mission of developing a pipeline of talent for Industry 4.0 in Indiana. Industry 4.0 is a combination of traditional manufacturing and industrial platforms and practices with the latest smart technology. Students and employers will participate in demon-strations, workshops, and have access to new technologies, applications, and models. It will also allow employers to explore how cobots can be implemented in their plants and facilities.
Blome said, “VU and VUJ are deeply committed to their roles in the communities they serve and are looking forward to serving the needs of industry partners and students. Dubois County has a longstanding reputation for its entrepreneurial spirit and forward-thinking ap-proach when it comes to business and industry.”
The VUJ lab is one of VU’s three cobot labs. The Center for Applied Robotics and Automa-tion, set to launch by mid-2022, will serve as the University’s cobot hub and will be housed on the Vincennes Campus. A cobot lab launched at the Gene Haas Training and Education Center in Lebanon in December.
VU’s $8 million “Developing a Workforce Ecosystem for Industry 4.0 in Indiana” grant melds innovative solutions and technology to accelerate key technical skills in the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics workforce.