COLLEGE students are enhancing their studies in technological innovation thanks to the donation of a robot from one of the world’s leading manufacturers.
Darlington College has taken delivery of a state of the art Mitsubishi robotic arm from Nissan UK designed to give students a hands-on experience of technology used in global manufacturing facilities.
The robot, to be used by the college’s engineering and mechatronics department, will ensure students are equipped to enter the workplace with an enhanced level of skill and understanding of industry-standard equipment.
College business development advisor Paul Clark said: “We are always looking to improve our course content and invest in new equipment to meet the needs of local industry.
“Manufacturing engineering is becoming ever more automated and we need to keep abreast of the changes and new production techniques to give our students exposure to the latest industry-related machinery.
“Engineering students have been actively involved in helping us to develop the new course and we are currently partnering with a number of organisations with a view towards becoming a robotic training accredited centre.”
The new robot, which was deigned to pick up battery cells for electric cars, joins an existing pre-programmed unit, donated by Mitsubishi UK, designed to teach students the basics of robotic use.
Darlington College senior lecturer in mechatronics Steve Corner said: “Engineering students have been using our initial robot for about a year now which has enabled them to learn key skills they wouldn’t normally gain in a college setting.
“On the back of that Nissan has now given us an industrial robot, which is a very sophisticated piece of equipment, allowing them to gain an enhanced skill set which students outside of industry would not usually have access to.”
Darlington MP Jenny Chapman was shown around the new robotic department by engineering students Ambrose Bani, 17, James Jenkinson, 17 and Anthony Walker, 17, as part of Love our Colleges Week, which highlighted the vast array of opportunities offered by Darlington College.
“We have been using the smaller robot since starting the course in September, but this is the first time that we have been able to get up close with the new industrial machine,” said James.
“Not many colleges offer training on equipment like this and it really will give us a head start in industry.”