As part of its mission to make the advantages of collaborative robotics widely accessible, Universal Robots (UR) has launched a worldwide network of Authorized Training Centers that expands on the company’s popular Universal Robots Academy online training. New hands-on classes will teach core programming skills to cobot users regardless of their robotics experience or backgrounds, using certified trainers hosted by Universal Robots and its global channel partners. Classes will broaden users’ understanding of Universal Robots’ cobots and their endless range of use cases, while providing opportunities for hands-on practice in real-life applications. 13 Authorized Training Centers spread across Europe, Americas and Asia have already started welcoming students and Universal Robots expects to have 50 fully authorized centers around the world up and running by the end of 2019. So far, 500+ customers have successfully completed the training at the new centers. Some centers are run by UR while others are operated by its partners. The share of partner-operated entities is expected to grow rapidly in the coming months. “Automation helps manufacturers of any size increase productivity, quality, and competitiveness, but the automation skills gap continues to have a critical impact on manufacturers around the world,” says Jürgen von Hollen, President of Universal Robots. “Universal Robots has helped companies address the skills gap by providing free online training modules through our Universal Robots Academy for a couple of years now. By expanding that training to hands-on classes from beginners to advanced users, manufacturers can expand their use of collaborative robots and drive even more value from their automation investments and their employees.” Empowering Employees through UR Academy Training Since Universal Robots Academy was launched in 2017, more than 55,000 users from more than 130 countries have signed up for the online training. A recent example is Darex, a small U.S. manufacturer that wanted to get employees excited about the arrival of UR cobots and engage them in the day-to-day operations. The company also needed to promote a staff member to move into the role of a robot technician to oversee the company’s two cobot applications. Interested employees were directed to study basic robot programming using the online Universal Robots Academy modules, leading to a programming contest for them to compete for the new role. 26-year-old Brittany Mohrman won the robot technician position and says: “The online UR training taught me things like understanding different program cycles, adjusting waypoint changes and knowing where the tool center point and center of gravity on the robot is. My job is definitely more fun and interesting now.” New Authorized Training Classes Cover a Range of Programming Skills Universal Robots Certified Trainers will conduct training modules that cover a range of core and advanced cobot programming skills, including cobot scripting, industrial communication and interface usage. Small class sizes with student-centered objectives and hands-on practice with UR robots ensure that participants come away with valuable skills they can apply immediately in their workplace. The modules of the Authorized Training Center program include: • Core: For any user of a UR cobot who has completed the online modules. Covers safety set-up, basic applications and flexible redeployment. • Advanced: For cobot users, technical sales people, and integrators with a practical need to optimize applications or find new ways of deploying UR cobots. Covers scripting, advanced uses of force control and TCP, conveyor tracking and performance review. • Industrial Communication: For users and developers who need to integrate cobots with third-party devices. Covers modbus TCP, FTP server, dashboard server, socket communication, Ethernet/IP and Profinet. • Interfaces: For users and developers who need in-depth knowledge on how to interface with UR cobots using script interfaces. Covers UR scripting, socket communication, client interfaces (port 30001-30003), real time data exchange and XML/RPC. The 13 Authorized Training Centers are located in Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Mexico and U.S. with three locations. For more details about UR’s Authorized Training Centers and availability in each region, see www.universal-robots.com/academy for details.