Gannon University Showcases Programs Featuring Robotics for International Robotic Day

Posted: June 20, 2017

From self-driving cars to drones to a thousand application we can only dream of, robots will change the way we live and work in the future. Young women and men are helping to create that future today at Gannon University, a future that's being celebrated on Robotic Day, June 25.

Ikechukwu Ohu, Ph.D. is helping to train those creators. An assistant professor of industrial engineering Ohu, trains future engineers to maximize precision and efficiency in places as diverse as the factory floor and the operating room.

In collaboration with his students, Ohu is working on projects involving the combination of robotics with existing systems in creating assistive devices for rehabilitation, among a diverse portfolio of projects.

Ohu is optimistic about the potential of robotics to make life better, and encourages students to consider robotics as a career. "If you are always on the lookout for how existing systems can be improved upon, you have a home at Gannon (and in the industrial engineering program), because an inquisitive mind will help you think out of the box and lead to wonderful, and sometimes unprecedented discoveries," he said. "Robots can take on the "jobs that tend to be dangerous and allow human workers to take on a lot more intellectually challenging responsibilities," Ohu said.

Gannon University engineering students from various disciplines are taking up the challenge through GUBotDev, an all-volunteer extracurricular activity that is dedicated to student research and problem- solving through hands-on experience with technology.

GUBotDev designed and built a 10-foot tall 3D printer for less than $2000; it is believed to be the 3rd largest filament-fed 3D printer in the World. Additionally, GUBotDev members have built a desktop 3D printing using only $100 in parts and hope to use this printer to bring 3D printing and STEM education into reach of the masses. GUBotDev is also working with Presque Isle State Park and the Purple Martin Conservation Association to employ technology designed and built by club members to monitor the population of purple martin birds.

Mark Blair, instructor of computer and information science and adviser to GUBotDev, calls robotics "the most exciting and all-encompassing field, because "almost everything is a robot. There are many new areas and many great innovations yet to be realized. He added that "racing drones, 3D printers and other modern technologies are making robotics cool and engineering and programming jargon common place among teenagers of all social strata-at least those in the know."

Gannon University Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK)

Gannon University announces the launch of the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK).