It was a distinct pleasure to spend some time with Dr. Byron Clayton, CEO of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute. The institute, located in Pittsburg Pennsylvania, is the result of a public/private partnership that was formed by the federal government. With a five year, $80 million grant, along with funds from academia and industry, they are tasked with a wonderful challenge: To advance robotics and robotics education.
Yes: that caught our attention, too!
It's no secret that certain manufacturing jobs are disappearing with an older workforce as machining is quickly becoming a lost art in this country. We've encountered this first hand through our close relationship with the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI) here in Florida, as they forge new relationships in the community to help create safe spaces for the FIRST students to create and build, as well as try to find a platform for internships and apprenticeships. Also, it is currently too expensive for small and midsize manufacturers to compete effectively and therefore maintain a stable and growing workplace. But it is extremely important that we not lose this integral cog in the manufacturing wheel.
Through technology, ARM aims to lower costs. The result enables them to make robots safer and more versatile so they can effectively work with and around people. To accomplish this, they are conducting project calls, or Requests for Proposals (RFPs), designed to advance technology and lower the barriers to adoption. This, in turn, will give manufacturers the ability to buy, adopt and use robotics throughout the manufacturing process. When this happens, they not only become more productive locally but can also begin to compete with overseas companies.
The exciting result is that they will be creating new pathways. As these companies better position themselves through technology, they will increase their workload and thus create more jobs. During the process, they are working with high school and college students to come up with innovative solutions that will eventually create these pathways and fill the newly created jobs.
Although Michele has worked in the banking industry full time for many years, she originally went to school with a concentration in communications, advertising and marketing. She began her career in sales and retail management, selling electronics and computers. Her love of all things tech eventually brought her back into the electronics arena three years ago when she started with PLuGHiTz Corporation to help with special events as a Production Assistant. Soon she began to dabble with the audio and video and is loving her role as Producer. She's also one of our content writers and assists with product reviews. Looking forward, she is excited to expand her skill set into editing and helping the company continue to grow.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.