January 13, 2017

Several Purdue faculty involved in new manufacturing robotics hub

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Researchers from three Purdue University colleges have joined governments, universities and nonprofit organizations in establishing a new independent robotics institute for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Manufacturing USA.

Richard Voyles, a Purdue Polytechnic Institute professor, was among the representatives Friday (Jan. 13) at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., attending the announcement of the new Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Institute Hub.

 The ARM Institute will conduct research and development, developing education and workforce training and providing access to shared capabilities through its regional collaborations. ARM focuses on key industrial sectors—aerospace, automotive, electronics, and textiles—defined by its partners.

Six thrusts will make up the work by the independent institute. Voyles is expected to lead the collaborative robotics thrust.

Purdue is one of 40 academic partners for the institute, which was awarded to American Robotics Inc. The institute is the 14th under Manufacturing USA and eighth led by the Department of Defense.

Purdue Polytechnic Institute Dean Gary Bertoline said he is looking forward to the potential offered by Purdue’s involvement in this new institute hub.

“The college and our faculty are very excited to be part of this important institute in advanced robotics manufacturing,” he said. “Under the leadership of Richard Voyles, Purdue University will have an important role in this institute that will advance robotics, which is one of the most important technological developments of this era.”

Aside from academic partners, 123 industrial and 64 government entities are part of the consortium, which contributed $173 million toward the institute. That will be combined with $80 million in federal funds.

Eleven Purdue faculty members are part of the ARM Institute, including seven from Purdue Polytechnic: Voyles, Xiaoming Wang, Xiumin Diao, Ayhan Ince, Nate Hartman, Austin Creasy and John Piller. Three faculty and staff from the College of Engineering – Dave Cappellerri, Juan Wachs and Steve Shade – and Daniel Aliaga from the College of Science also join the institute.

ARM Institute, through American Robotics Inc., was founded by Carnegie Mellon University and is headquartered in Pittsburgh. Manufacturing USA, initially known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, was first started in 2012.

Manufacturing USA features institutes that focus on a technology area considered critical to future competitiveness. 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu 

Source: Gary Bertoline, 765-494-2552, bertoline@purdue.edu

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