Training the skilled workers of tomorrow is becoming increasingly important, especially in times of skills shortages. This is all the more reason to familiarize trainees with future-oriented technologies such as robotics now.
Vocational school pupils and students are therefore very important to us. We want to make robots accessible to them in Switzerland.

In practice, trainees and students are increasingly coming into contact with robots. Theory should therefore not be neglected and training in the use of robots should be integrated into lessons.
How is this possible and who can teachers or other responsible persons contact if they are interested?

We answer these questions with reference to a vocational school in Munich.
Andreas Häusler is a large account manager at Universal Robots. He is responsible for 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, Director of Studies and subject supervisor for automation technology at the Municipal Vocational School for Metal - Design - Mechatronics. Manfred Schauhuber teaches mechatronics engineers and product designers at this school. He is able to successfully integrate robotics into the training. The concept for this was developed in-house. In addition, the feedback from his students is consistently positive.

"Many of the trainees at the vocational schools on Deroystrasse learn in large companies in Munich and have cobots around them every day. But the technology is also being used more and more in SMEs. At the same time, the topic is still underrepresented in school lessons."

Manfred Schauhuber, Director of Studies at the Municipal Vocational School for Metal - Design - Mechatronics

Robotics is underrepresented in schools

Andreas Häusler and Manfred Schauhuber are both of the opinion that specialist knowledge in automation technology is essential, especially in training areas such as industrial and production mechanics, mechatronics or machining technology. This quickly becomes clear when we look at industry, which is increasingly using robots, including collaborative robots, for production. As even some of the school's training partners continue to expand their cobot capacities, the school must also take action.

UR5e robots in a school

Häusler estimates that only one in eight German vocational schools has robots. This includes multi-axis linear systems and machining centers. However, this does not reflect the trend towards collaborative robotics. Nevertheless, he is very pleased:

"We see that vocational schools are increasingly recognizing the teaching potential of user-friendly and collaborative robots. That makes us very happy. After all, the subject offers a lot of potential in addition to the handling of the robot itself: the technology can be used to teach knowledge in areas such as actuators, sensors, logic, movement and programming very clearly."

Andreas Häusler, Large Account Manager at Universal Robots
Cobots are used in schools

In Bavaria, however, the important subject of robotics is not prescribed in the curriculum. The guidelines only offer leeway to integrate robotics into certain areas of learning. This means that those responsible have to contribute a great deal of initiative and knowledge.

Do you lack the knowledge? We can help you.

Schauhuber was able to acquire a lot of knowledge himself during his studies. He then continued his education and is therefore up to date. He therefore had the necessary know-how to develop these lessons at his school.
The pupils now have the opportunity to work on eight collaborative robots in their own room. The model is the UR3e.

However, sometimes a school lacks the necessary knowledge, especially in the areas of robotics and programming, in which case we and Universal Robots offer support.

"We offer free training via our online academy, which teaching staff are welcome to use. We have also 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."

Andreas Häusler, Large Account Manager at Universal Robots

The best combination in teaching is professional competence and enjoyment of learning

In order to achieve this goal for the lessons, they must be action-oriented and teach skills that are relevant for the future. When drawing up a concept, the framework conditions, such as the time available and the space, should be taken into account. Manfred Schauhuber also confirms this:

"In my lessons, the students learn how a robot works and how to program it. We deal with safety issues in work-related learning situations and look at the connection and networking of peripherals. It is important to prepare the trainees for their future work as skilled workers in a fun way."

Manfred Schauhuber, Director of Studies at the Municipal Vocational School for Metal - Design - Mechatronics

Universal Robots has designed training cells so that cobots can be used effectively in schools. These cells are space-saving and mobile. This means that the cobot training cells can even be used 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, an additional protective housing is not necessary. Experience has shown that students enjoy working with the cobots, as programming is very intuitive and success is achieved quickly.

Comprehensive advice for the successful integration of cobots into your lessons

Would you like to integrate a cobot into your lessons? Then get in touch with us. Together with our partners in Switzerland and Universal Robots, we are at your side and can advise you on all questions relating to successful implementation.
We will support you from the purchase process with applications to funding bodies, through specialist training for teachers, to the development of teaching concepts and the final commissioning of the cobot.

Cobots: An uncomplicated and practical introduction to robotics.

Find out more about the Universal Robots Education Kit here.

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