Robotic donation from SMART Technologies benefits Mechatronic students

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

From left: Greg McNee, Senior Director Software Development at SMART Technologies and Shoreline instructors Keith Smith, Jeff Purdy, and Kory Dean. Far right: EPSON Prosix robotic arm. Photo courtesy Shoreline CC.

SMART Technologies in Seattle recently donated an Epson Prosix robotic arm to Shoreline Community College’s Mechatronics program, diversifying the robotics education students gain at the College.

“It’s an exciting addition to our training tools,” said robotics instructor Jeff Purdy. “Employers look for a range of robotics experience, and while our graduates have always been able to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge, familiarity with another system, the Epson Prosix, will definitely expand their job readiness.”

Students currently train on five FANUC robots including a welding robot. The Epson Prosix is a six-axis arm on a linear rail, allowing the robot to operate in a larger space than Shoreline’s current arms.

“Epson robots are prevalent in a broad range of industries, even those beyond the manufacturing of aerospace parts, which is a focus of Shoreline’s program. It makes sense for us to introduce students to other robot types that are out there in the automation world,” said Purdy. “It allows students to learn the differences and similarities, and to better prepare for what they might encounter when they go to work.”

SMART Technologies had been looking for a home for the arm when Jim Eanes, a software development engineer at the company, saw an article about the College’s Mechatronics program in The Seattle Times and reached out to Shoreline.

Instructors had already been discussing expanding the robot types offered in the program when SMART made contact about the arm. “It was a win-win,” said Purdy.

The arm arrived at Shoreline’s facility March 2, and students will begin training on it as soon as it’s assembled at the College.

Learn more about Shoreline’s Mechatronics program.


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