VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - Technology has changed a lot in manufacturing in the last few decades. Jobs like using a milling machine by hand gave way to CNC technology. Now collaborative robot technology is leading the way.
VU President Chuck Johnson explains, "Rather than having humans load the blocks of metal or other material into the CNC machine, the cobot would do that. The human is there to program and measure tolerances and make sure that the parts are being manufactured according to specifications."
These robots are also known as "cobots". Vincennes University plans to expand programs on campus to include the new technology.
Johnson says, "This will help us raise the level of what we're doing currently in existing programs. But also lets us build out new programs and new pathways. Both in training as well as in our academic areas."
The expansion comes thanks to an 8 million dollar grant from Lilly Endowment. Funding will also go to support the creation of the Center for Applied Robotics and Automation.
Johnson says, "Creating a focus on ensuring that we are staying abreast of the latest in technological change in the industry. That we are working closely without employer partners to help them to understand how to utilize these technologies."
VU also plans to reach out to students from kindergarten to high school. Giving those students a chance to get a leg up before they even step foot on a college campus.
Johnson says, "This is huge. This is a way that kind of validates VU's position already in the marketplace as being the go-to partner for industry on a lot of these automation type roles."