High-Tech Robots Designed in Murfreesboro Could Change Factory Landscapes Nationwide and Solve Workforce Issues

Sep 24, 2021 at 03:08 pm by WGNS


High-tech robots are being studied and developed in Murfreesboro, which could change factory landscapes all over the country.

A program that is underway now at MTSU, aims to develop new robots that can work alongside humans in today's workplace. Dr. Ken Currie, Chair of the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology, told WGNS that collaborative robots would help solve some of the workforce shortages that many companies are facing...



Most of the robots utilized in factory settings today are not designed to work with humans. Instead, they are stand-alone machines programmed to do one or two repetitive tasks. Another issue is that the robots in most automotive factories don't have the ability to simply stop if a worker gets in the way. Currie said collaborative robots are designed to work in a safer fashion...



Currie hopes to make two separate workplace development centers focused on helping small to medium sized companies. One of the programs will focus on a Collaborative Robotic Development Center at MTSU. The second idea will be developing an integrated sensoring system as a means to implement smart manufacturing methods for machines in factory environments.

Scroll down for a short audio interview with Dr. Currie...


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Continued...

Dr. Ken Currie hopes to continue the growth in the department’s Mechatronics Engineering and Engineering Technology degree programs through renewed partnerships with advisory board members, new markets for graduates, and a complete renewal of laboratories.

Within the next few years, he hopes to develop two separate workplace development centers focused on helping small to medium sized companies:

1.      A Collaborative Robotic Development Center to bring innovative strategies for implementing these “helper” robots to work alongside humans in an efficient and safe manner...

2.      A dedicated research and development space in integrated sensor systems as a means to implement smart manufacturing methods for machine and/or system prognostics.

MTSU has a new Advanced Engineering & Technology Building in the works, so Currie also hopes to build a collaboration with local industries and the community at large to open up an Innovation Maker Space. This space will help local innovators and K-12 students opportunities to make minimally viable prototypes to spur economic development.

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