Training the skilled workers of tomorrow is becoming increasingly important, especially in times of a shortage of skilled workers. This is one more reason to familiarize trainees with future-oriented technologies, such as robotics, right now.
Vocational school and university students are therefore very close to our hearts. We want to make robots accessible to them in Switzerland.
In der Praxis kommen Auszubildende und Studenten immer öfter mit Robotern in Berührung. Die Theorie sollte deshalb nicht vernachlässigt werden und die Schulung des Umgangs mit Robotern in den Unterricht integriert werden.
Wie ist das möglich und an wen können sich Lehrer oder andere Verantwortliche bei Interesse wenden?
We answer these questions based on a vocational school in Munich.
Andreas Häusler is a large account manager at Universal Robots. He is in charge of Universal Robots’ cooperation with vocational schools. From his own experience, he knows very well that there is a lot going on in this area. He works closely with Manfred Schauhuber, the director of studies and subject supervisor for automation technology at the Municipal Vocational School for Metal – Design – Mechatronics. Manfred Schauhuber teaches mechatronics and product design at this school. In doing so, he is able to successfully integrate robotics into the training. The concept for this was developed in his own work. Added to this is the consistently positive feedback from his students.
“Many of the trainees at the vocational schools on Deroystrasse learn in large Munich companies and have cobots around them every day. But the technology is also being used more and more in SMEs. At the same time, the subject is still underrepresented in school lessons.”
Robotics is underrepresented in schools
Andreas Häusler and Manfred Schauhuber are both of the opinion that expertise in automation technology is essential, especially in the training branches such as industrial and production mechanics, mechatronics or machining technology. This quickly becomes clear when we look at industry, which is increasingly manufacturing with robots, including collaborative robots. As even some of the school’s training partners continue to expand their cobot capabilities, the school must also act.
According to Häusler’s estimate, there are robots in only one in eight German vocational schools. He includes multi-axis linear systems and machining centers in this figure. However, this does not correspond to the trend of collaborative robotics. Nevertheless, he is very pleased:
“We see that vocational schools are increasingly recognizing the teaching potential offered by user-friendly and collaborative robots. We are very pleased about this. Because in addition to handling the robot itself, the subject offers a lot of potential: With the technology, knowledge can be taught very clearly in areas such as actuators, sensors, logic, motion and programming.”
In Bavaria, however, the important topic of robotics is not prescribed in the curriculum. The guidelines merely provide leeway for integrating robotics into certain learning areas. As a result, those responsible have to bring in a lot of their own initiative and knowledge.
Lacking the knowledge? We help you.
Schauhuber was able to acquire a lot of knowledge himself during his studies. Afterwards, he continued his education and is thus up to date. He therefore had the necessary know-how to develop these lessons at his school.
In the meantime, the students have the opportunity to work on eight collaborative robots in a dedicated room. The model is the UR3e.
However, sometimes a school lacks the necessary knowledge, especially in the areas of robotics and programming, then we and Universal Robots offer support.
“We offer free training via our Online Academy, which teaching staff are welcome to use. In addition, we have developed a comprehensive teaching concept that we are happy to make available to schools in conjunction with our cobots. Last but not least, there are regional teacher training centers that we are happy to contact together with the school.”
The best combination in teaching is expertise and joy of learning
To achieve this goal for the lessons, they must be action-oriented and teach competencies that are relevant for the future. When creating a concept, the framework conditions, such as the time available and the space, should be taken into account. This is also confirmed by Manfred Schauhuber:
“In my classes, students learn how a robot works and how to program it. We deal with safety issues in job-related learning situations and deal with the connection and networking of peripherals. It’s important to prepare the trainees for their future skilled work with pleasure.”
To ensure that cobots can be used well in schools, Universal Robots has designed training cells. These cells are space-saving and mobile. This means that the Cobot training cells can be used even in confined spaces. The built-in cobots are significantly smaller than conventional industrial robots and are safe to handle. If the risk assessment is successful, additional protective enclosure is not necessary. Experience has shown that students enjoy working with the cobots because the programming is very intuitive, resulting in rapid success.
Comprehensive consulting for a successful integration of cobots into your lessons
Do you want to integrate a Cobot into your lessons? Then contact us. Together with our partners in Switzerland and Universal Robots, we are at your side and advise you on all questions for a successful implementation.
We accompany you from the purchase process with applications to cost units to the professional training for the teachers, to the development of teaching concepts and the final commissioning of the cobot.
Cobots: An uncomplicated and practical introduction to robotics.