Robots, virtual reality in new MAGNET lab designed to prevent companies’ costly mistakes

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The yellow robot is entertaining. It knocks over a series of tiles that spell “Welcome.” Then, as if it has eyes, its robotic arm sorts through the scrabbled tiles and reassembles them on a stand to again spell “Welcome.”

This robot’s mission, however, is strictly business. It is part of the recently opened Manufacturing Technology Experience lab at MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network on East 25th Street. The lab’s goal is to give the 10,000 small- and medium-size manufacturers in Northeast Ohio hands-on experience with technology that can make them more competitive. For example, an entrepreneur may have access to a state-of-the-art 3D printer or 3D laser scanner, while also being able to tap MAGNET engineers in designing a product for his or her startup. The owners of a midsize company are considering incorporating robotics in production. As MAGNET staff evaluate the business to determine the best use of robots, the owners can rely on the Manufacturing Technology Experience for a tangible sense of how robotics would work at their company.

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Written by Olivera Perkins.

Originally published March 1, 2020.

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