21 May 2024

Preparing students for the future of work

ABB closes automation skills gap with new robotics education package

ABB Robotics says it is continuing to close the global education gap in automation and prepare students for the future of work with the launch of a ready-to-use Education Package.

The company says comprising a GoFa collaborative robot (cobot), teaching materials and a globally recognised technical qualification, the package is part of ABB Robotics global campaign to help workers thrive in a new era of automation.

ABB Robotics says its Education Package has been created to ensure educational establishments can provide highly skilled young people for companies looking to benefit from robotic automation. Although some 80% of global educators see automation shaping employment in the next 10 years, only one in four education institutes incorporate robotics into their curriculum*. Barriers include the lack of teachers trained in robotics and automation and the difficulty in incorporating robotics training into the curriculum seamlessly.

Andrea Cassoni, MD, General Industries Business Line for ABB Robotics said: “With robotic automation increasingly embraced by multiple sectors, from manufacturing and distribution to retail and healthcare, companies are looking for people with the skills needed to handle robots and automation.

“By enabling schools, colleges and universities to easily create and run robotics training courses that are recognised by industry, ABB’s Robotics Education Package is closing the technology skills gap by preparing students for the automated workplace.”

The company says the heart of the package is the Education Cell, which features a fully functional ABB GoFa collaborative robot. Mounted on a compact tabletop, the ABB GoFa is an easy-to-use cobot that helps students learn real-life industrial applications such as pick and place and 3D printing. Students as young as 15 can use the robot, with no need for any prior engineering knowledge thanks to ABB Robotics’ lead-through and ABB’s Wizard Easy Programing.

A comprehensive suite of material gives teachers everything they need to guide students through 12 lessons at basic and advanced levels, taking them from the fundamentals of robotics to more advanced applications and programming. Industrial level training material has been adapted by teachers into a student-friendly format, enabling them to easily grasp robotics concepts. A total of 56 hours of content is provided, including videos, interactive online exercises, 400 test questions, and lab exercises with ABB’s RobotStudio offline programming tool, which is used by companies worldwide to plan, simulate and develop real-life robotic solutions in a virtual environment.

The third part of the package is a globally recognised STEM certification for both teachers and students supported and authenticated by educational research and credentialing organisation STEM.org. This allows teachers to be certified by ABB and then certify their students as competent to use robots. It also provides students with an accepted qualification that can be shown to employers in over 80 countries as proof of their ability to work with robotic automation.

ABB says the launch of the Education Package marks the latest step in its ongoing drive to help students develop the skills they need to thrive in a world where robots will be as common as laptops in the workplace. ABB currently works with educational institutions in over 40 countries to ensure that students are able to learn the fundamentals of robot programming and operation

*Source: ABB education survey, 2022, based on global sample of 2,301 respondents

Company info: ABB Robotics UK