Universal Robots (universal-robots.com) has expanded its online training, adding three modules that step up complexity by teaching users how to create and work with coordinate systems, variables and conditional statements, and how to use the robot’s wizard to create a program for packaging.

CTO and Co-Founder Esben Østergaard said that it is unusual in the industry to make robot training curriculum of this caliber available for free: “This is a long-term investment for us. We want to raise the robot literacy and the reason for speeding up the entry of cobots is not only to optimize production here and now. We are facing a looming skills gap in the manufacturing industry that we need to bridge by all means possible. Facilitating knowledge creation and access to our robots is an important step in that direction.”

Stefan Stubgaard, head of global competence center at Universal Robots, added that the Academy modules have received positive feedback from users around the world: “This learning resource is now also reaching small and medium-sized manufacturers that up until now regarded robotics as costly and complex. By simply logging into the Academy they experience first-hand how simple the setup can be and they can easily envision what production tasks could be automated with our cobots.”

One of the early adopters of Universal Robots Academy is the Whirlpool Corporation, where the  Universal Robots Academy modules now provide the basic foundation for all UR robot training at the company’s plant in Ohio, USA. Tim Hossler, controls engineer at Whirlpool, emphasized the great convenience of being able to offer this resource to employees in-house: “Now we don’t have to wait and send them out for basic training elsewhere. The modules can be completed at our own pace and we can even pick and choose which modules we offer different personnel depending on skill sets and their level of interaction with the robots."

The nine Universal Robots Academy modules are available in English, Spanish, German, French and Chinese. The basic training that the three new modules are building upon include adding end-effectors, connecting I/Os, creating basic programs in addition to setting up tools and safety zones.