RobotWorx Promotes STEM and Robotics Education with COSI Columbus Partnership
RobotWorx Posted 04/28/2011Robot integrator, RobotWorx, donated an interactive exhibit and $50K to a hands-on science center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. In 2010, RobotWorx embarked on a three year sponsorship project for the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).
The goal was to provide visitors with a better understanding of what industrial robots are and how they work. RobotWorx supplied the robot tech and financial backing, COSI, the setting and educational expertise.
“It’s a privilege to work with the great people at COSI.” RobotWorx CEO Keith Wanner said. “We’re now in our second year as corporate sponsors and I couldn’t be happier with the partnership and the impact of the robot exhibit.”
Engineers at RobotWorx designed and built a mobile, interactive exhibit especially for COSI. The educational cart features two reconditioned Motoman K3S robots called “Rivet” and “Bolt” and MRC control units. It is protected with extruded aluminum framing and plexiglass, allowing visitors to see the inner workings of the controllers and 360-degree views of the 6-axis, articulated robots.
“The cart gives a great experience because it uses real world applications and demonstrates robots in action,” Joshua Sarver, Senior Director of Experience Design and Production at COSI said. “Kids watching the demonstrations get exposure to careers in robotics and everyone learns a lesson in the difficulty level of programming robots.”
The programmable nature of industrial robots makes for a highly versatile exhibit. The twin Motoman K3S robots have entertained and educated COSI visitors with disco dances, material handling, and intricate puzzle building. The robot cart is adaptable in other ways as well. Four sturdy wheels at the base of the cart allow the entire exhibit to be moved to new areas and floors in the COSI facility for different events and educational programs. In January, for example, the RobotWorx exhibit is relocated from the second floor Gadgets Exhibition area to the main floor for a day dedicated to robotics education.
“We've found that our Robotics Science Day is one of our most popular special events, and is quickly becoming a yearly tradition.” Steve Whitt, Director of Public and Member Programs at COSI said. “The RobotWorx Cart serves as a centerpiece for the day and really makes the event special and memorable for all our participants.”
Wanner said he enjoys the chance to participate in Robot Science Day. In 2010, he presented the robot cart. This year, Wanner brought a FANUC M-1iA“Spider Robot” for a demonstration of robotic vision and delta robot design.
“Robotics Science Day provides an excellent opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise about industrial robot technology with young visitors who may one day be engineers and robot scientists themselves.” Wanner said. “At the same time, the event gives us a chance to reconnect with COSI staff and brainstorm about future involvement.”
Robot Science Day is just one example of RobotWorx’ continued commitment to COSI's robotics programming. RobotWorx has agreed to contribute a total of $50,000 over the course of its three year COSI partnership. These funds are earmarked for cart maintenance needs and robot programming development. In addition, RobotWorx technicians are made available to handle any programming questions that arise and provide on-site maintenance.
RobotWorx is an integrator of industrial robotics located in Marion, Ohio. Founded in 1992, RobotWorx specializes in building custom robot systems for companies in a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, and plastics. The company integrates complete robot workcells for a number of applications ranging from arc welding and milling to material handling and plasma cutting. RobotWorx is a FANUC Authorized System Integrator, Motoman Solution Provider, and KUKA Robotics Partner. To learn more about RobotWorx visit www.robots.com.