The demand for robotic programs has been on the rise since the first programmable digital robot was brought to life in the 1950s.
At OTC, the study of robots is approached from several aspects, making use for both the ominous-looking robotic arms and the building and programming of machines that come in a kit and resemble dogs and bugs.
Everything from how the machines are used in manufacturing to the science of robotic programming is offered at both the OTC Springfield Campus and the OTC Lebanon Center.
“In Lebanon, we teach students the basics of robotics, their systems and what they do. It covers everything from programming the machines to maintaining them,” said Keith Dinwiddie, the robotic instructor at Lebanon.
“A lot of industries are looking into automation since it’s perfect for jobs that result in injuries. The repetitive actions of painting or welding can be done by robots, saving people from being injured by doing the same thing day in and day out. It frees up the workforce to do the quality-control work, maintenance and programming,” Dinwiddie said.
At the Springfield campus, Tiffany Archer makes use of NXT Lego project robots to teach her students how robots are programmed.
“Legos have a nice appeal to students, many of whom played with them as a child. This class teaches them to program differently by programming robots,” Archer said.
The robots used in the classroom can be made into dogs, spiders and a machine with a claw. The robots can be programmed to respond to voice commands, follow a certain path or stop when they come to the edge of a table to avoid falling off.
Archer said what the students learn in the classroom about programming robots is directly applicable to what’s taking place in manufacturing today.
“There is more and more robot automation taking over in manufacturing. Our students will be well positioned for success,” Archer said.
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