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Impact of an Updated Robotics Laboratory in an Industrial Engineering Program

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Technology and Equipment to Improve IE Instruction

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.715.1 - 25.715.13



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Paper Authors


Richard A. Pitts Jr. Morgan State University

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Richard Pitts, Jr. is currently an Associate Professor in the Industrial & Systems Engineering Department at Morgan State University (MSU). He received his B.S.I.E. degree from MSU in 1991. Later, he received both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial engineering from yhe Pennsylvania State University in 1995 and 2006, respectively.

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Impact of an Updated Robotics Laboratory in an Industrial Engineering ProgramAbstractRobotics is the study of the design, manufacture and application of robots used in a variety ofexisting systems or systems to be created. The impact and benefits of robotics in education at alllevels have been documented by many researchers and educators all across the country, as wellas, the world. Several universities have developed robotics programs which provide uniqueopportunities for students to learn about robotic systems through coursework and conduct high-level research. When these courses are combined with hands-on laboratory modules, roboticsprovides a means for student to utilize their analytical skills learned in other Science,Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses to solve real-world problems in the areas oftransportation, scheduling, manufacturing, logistics, and many others.With a Course, Curriculum and Lab Improvement (CCLI) grant project sponsored by theNational Science Foundation from 2009 - 2011, an updated Industrial Robotics and AutomatedManufacturing (IRAM) laboratory was developed. Utilizing this newly updated laboratory at XUniversity, students are now able to use modern equipment within a set of courses specificallydesigned around the facility. These courses are in the areas of advanced material handlingsystems, robotics and automation, computer-aided manufacturing, and flexible manufacturingsystems. The integration of these courses with a hands-on laboratory approach into the IndustrialEngineering undergraduate curriculum allows the student population to get a new and innovativetype of training and preparation for the engineering workforce, and to strengthen it throughincreased awareness in learning how to use robotic-related software to model systems. Inaddition, students can determine solutions for various manufacturing and service scenarios and toengage in realistic applications of manufacturing systems through the new lab modules.The CCLI project has had a significant and broad impact as the engineering students haveparticipated in these courses and the results show that the students have gained much from them.The number of under-represented students (women and minorities) has been increased due to theinterest from successfully completing the courses which utilize the IRAM lab, as well as thenumber and readiness of engineering students entering into graduate programs and engineeringworld.

Pitts, R. A. (2012, June), Impact of an Updated Robotics Laboratory in an Industrial Engineering Program Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21472

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