The market leader in collaborative robotics has developed online training modules to further lower the automation barrier. The modules are offered free of charge, open to all, and built to deliver hands-on learning via interactive simulations to maximize user engagement.
Odense, Denmark, February 16, 2017: Learning how to set up and program a collaborative robot - or cobot - no longer depends on real life access to a robot. Now everybody with a desire to learn the concepts of cobots can log in to the Universal Robots Academy and get the introduction necessary to master basic programming skills.
CTO and founder of Universal Robots, Esben Østergaard, explains that it is unusual in the industry to make robot training curriculum of this kind available for free.
“But this is a long-term investment for us. We want to raise the robot literacy and the reason for speeding up the entry of cobots is not only to optimize production here and now,” says Østergaard. “We are facing a looming skills gap in the manufacturing industry that we need to bridge by all means possible. Facilitating knowledge creation and access to our robots is an important step in that direction. We’re excited to see the educational sector actively incorporating the Academy modules in their curriculum.”
RAMTEC Career center in Ohio, home to the largest, most comprehensive robotics education center in the U.S., is one of the schools now using the modules as introduction to the cobots from Universal Robots that students are trained on at the center.
“The Academy modules are amazingly simplistic in their approach yet cover all the necessary building blocks that you need to complete basic UR robot training,” says Tim Gray, Industrial Training Coordinator at RAMTEC. “It’s a much easier curriculum to access than any other training materials I’ve come across; in hours you can learn what it would take weeks to accomplish with other robots. The fact that training material of this caliber is offered free of charge was a surprise to me. We can use it both in the classroom and as tool for self-study.”
The online training modules are available in English, Spanish, German, French and Chinese, consists of six e-learning modules that make up the basic programming training for UR robots. This includes adding end-effectors, connecting I/Os, creating basic programs in addition to setting up tools and safety zones.
Free tech support, simulator and online resources
In addition to the new Academy modules, Universal Robots also offer a free simulator and other online resources on the UR through the company’s support website that students can download and use without a required user license. Clayton Hammock, robotics teacher at RAMTEC, says that the simulator has become a very powerful tool in his class:
“Everybody learns differently and some of the students want to go through and practice it at home many times. So even if we don’t have enough robots, we always have enough simulators,” says Hammock, adding that the simulator is also used as an assessment tool.
“In this way a lot of the programming actually happens outside the classroom, when we come into the classroom we can then focus on some of the more special things like integrating the robots with external machinery,” says the robotics instructor who also assign tasks that involve using the free tech support and online resources on the Universal Robots website.
“We can tell the students ‘let’s write a script program and make the robot do something fancy’ and then let them figure it out by going online, practice finding information and downloading the right documents. Just like they may have to in the real world”
About Universal Robots
Universal Robots is the result of many years of intensive research at Denmark's successful robot cluster, which is located in Odense, Denmark. The company was co-founded in 2005 by the company’s CTO, Esben Østergaard, who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all by developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible industrial robots that are safe to work with and on their own can be used to streamline processes in the industry. The product portfolio includes the collaborative UR3, UR5 and UR10 robotic arms named after their payload in kilos. Since the first UR robot launched in December 2008, the company has experienced considerable growth with the user-friendly robots now sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. At just 195 days, the average payback period for UR robots is the fastest in the industry. The company, a part of Boston-based Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense and has subsidiaries and regional offices in the U.S., Spain, Germany, Singapore, Czech Republic, India, and China. Universal Robots has more than 300 employees worldwide. Learn more at: www.universalrobots.com.
Universal Robots USA, Inc.
5430 Data Court, Suite 300
Ann Arbor, MI 48108