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."