Gannon University’s Industrial Engineering Program Welcomes Robot As New Member
Posted: May 26, 2016
There's a new resident of Gannon University's Industrial
Engineering Laboratory. Not a professor, student or even a human,
this new member is a revolutionary, highly adaptive collaborative
research robot named Baxter.
With its flexible 14-degree-of-freedom (DoF) articulated arms,
the Baxter can be made to perform numerous work and research
related functions. A user has a choice of controlling the robot's
motion by either writing python scripts, performing physical
keyframing or utilizing a graphical user interface, thus reducing
the cost and time associated with programming.
In the Industrial Engineering Lab, the Baxter will be used for
research in telerobotics, robot-assisted surgery, computer
integrated manufacturing as well as classroom instructions and
advanced research on human-robot interactions, robot-path planning
and manipulation and machine learning.
The Baxter is part of a suite of new robotics research equipment
that are currently being added to Gannon's developing Industrial
Engineering Laboratory, which includes the Fanuc LR Mate 200iD
Educational Robot (a six-DoF industrial robot) that will be used
for the Certified Education Robot Training (CERT) program for
The Fanuc robot certification will give Gannon engineering
students an edge over their peers in the manufacturing job market
due to the industry-recognized certification credentials they will
acquire upon completion of robotics courses.
Teaching curricula built around the new lab additions are also
being created to prepare students for the applications of the "lean
think model" to different task scenarios.
Ikechukwu Ohu, Ph.D., an assistant professor of industrial
engineering, is behind the arrival of Gannon's growing collection
of state-of-the-art robots and industrial automation machinery.
Ohu said the courses taught in the industrial engineering
program have project components with scopes often tailored toward
product or service design that focuses not just on functionality,
ergonomics and aesthetics, but also applies the principles of
Kansei engineering in translating the feelings and impressions of
product end-users to design parameters.
"This approach to design plays the dual role of promoting deep
intellectual discourse amongst students, leading to a better
understanding of a course's contents and user-centric product
development," Ohu said.
Some high school students who were part of the GO College
program visited the Industrial Engineering Lab this spring, and
were given opportunities to use the robots and other lab equipment.
In addition, the students were given insight on what the life of an
engineering college student is like and the opportunities that
await them upon graduation from college.
To find out more about Gannon's industrial engineering program,