Yaskawa: Robotics education is a strategy for the economy

Technology and education intended to fill the gap between what the industry wants and what educational institutions can provide.

In order to help ensure successful workforce development and sustainable economic growth, Yaskawa Motoman is working to closely align STEM education, certification and training with the needs and expertise of industry leaders.

According to the company, organizations must provide the right products, technology and education to fill the gap between what the industry wants and what educational institutions can provide. Yaskawa Motoman is addressing these needs with products, curricula, training certification and services for education and industry.

“The challenge is for us to find ways to package our intellectual knowledge and make it available,” said Bob Graff, senior sales manager, education. “We also need to make our solutions relevant to industry needs, content rich, comprehensive and easy to use in order to make students successful.”

Yaskawa Motoman has developed dedicated curricula, programs, and hardware and software tools to deliver real-world industrial experiences in a classroom environment including:

● STEM robotics platforms – Complete, modular packages that enable instructors to teach robotics using the same equipment deployed in automation manufacturing plants. They feature standard industrial-grade components and comprehensive academic tools. Material handling and welding models are available.
● MotoSim EG-VRC for Education - PC-based offline programming environment and robotics simulation tool that is designed specifically for K-16 schools, training organizations and education research institutions. It enables accurate 3D simulation of robot cells and simulates a fully functional production environment. Used with MotoSim Touch, students can toggle between a virtual programming pendant and a hardware pendant.
● Yaskawa Academy Learning Management System (LMS) – Comprehensive, STEM-aligned curriculum that provides students with the academic core standards and 21st century skills required for careers in advanced manufacturing. In order to develop this new standard in workforce certification, Yaskawa Motoman partnered with FASTLANE, the Miami Valley’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership at the University of Dayton Research Institute, to align national and state STEM requirements for schools with our industrial robotics curriculum.

Three certification programs to meet the needs of educators:
● Train-the-Trainer Program, designed for instructors of K-12 students, career tech and college undergraduates. Provides the ability for schools to develop a student-based robotics certification course with focus on core robotics skills, or to expand an existing mechatronics robotics program.
● MERIT Program, designed for instructors of educational institutions and to support workforce development certification with industry. Enables instructors to deliver the same curriculum and instructional model as Yaskawa Academy to local manufacturers.
● Modified MERIT Program, designed for instructors of K-12 students, career tech and college undergraduates with the option to upgrade to the MERIT Program.

Since it is vital that students have direct access to robotics technology, Yaskawa Motoman has formed partnerships with top educational organizations such as Sinclair Community College (Dayton, Ohio), RAMTEC Ohio (Marion, Ohio) and Vigo County School Corporation (Terre Haute, Ind.) in order to give more students that opportunity.

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