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QCC Students Learn How to Make Robots Do the Work

July, 2019
  • William Hogan (L) demonstrates the FANUC robot to QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja.
    William Hogan (L) demonstrates the FANUC robot to QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja
  • Professor James Heffernan's Industrial Robots class.
    From left: Professor James Heffernan, Dan Dickman, Zachary Suprenor, Sam Nessenthaler, Dean of School of Business, Engineering, and Technology Betty Lauer, Bill Hogan and Hunter Boudreau
  • Dean Betty Lauer listens intently as Hunter Boudreau explains how he programmed the FANUC robot.
    Dean Betty Lauer listens intently as Hunter Boudreau explains how he programmed the FANUC robot.
  • Hunter Boudreau programs the FANUC robot to pick up and move a water bottle.
    Hunter Boudreau programs the FANUC robot to pick up and move a water bottle.

Robots have become a part of our everyday lives. When we think of robots, often the video of a “Roomba” floor cleaning robot being ridden around the house by a cat in a shark costume may come to mind. However, it is industrial robots that are making some of the largest impacts on our society today. Industrial robots perform a wide range of tasks that can include anything from assembly, material removal, material handling (machine tending, picking, packing and palletizing) to tasks such as painting, dispensing and welding. In today's technology-driven world, people who are skilled at making robots do these tasks are in high demand and earn competitive salaries.

As students in Professor Jim Heffernan’s Industrial Robots ELM 260 course have learned, making a robot do the work is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, Professor Heffernan points out that it takes attention to detail, a fair amount of trial and error, and a lot of persistence to program an industrial robot to successfully perform a desired task. In the Industrial Robots course at QCC, students explore robotic systems and learn various methods of programming robots that are used in industry today, developing their knowledge and skills along the way.

In late spring at an Open House, QCC students Sam Nessenthaler, Dan Dickman, Zachary Suprenor, Bill Hogan, and Hunter Boudreau learned the intricacies of computer programming. Using state of the art FANUC robots, they completed their capstone projects and demonstrated their accomplishments to the college community. At the end of the course all five students received their FANUC CERT Certification, which is an internationally-recognized robotics certification.

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