An Open Letter on Education and Manufacturing

from Kel Guerin, PhD, Co-Founder and CTO of READY Robotics

Let’s talk about manufacturing in the United States, and how the industry is completely missing one huge component to our future success on the global stage – education! I co-founded a robotics software company because I knew how transformative robotics and automation could be, but let me explain exactly why education is so vitally important in unlocking the power of automation in the manufacturing industry, and also how READY is preparing to step up.

The bottom line is this: if the US is going to compete on the global manufacturing stage, we must automate – and quickly. However, automating on a large scale is easier said than done. One of the major barriers we must address in order to enable broad deployment of automation is the programming barrier that limits robotic adoption. To put it simply, robots are too hard to program. I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made at READY in dramatically simplifying robotic programming with Forge/OS – our intuitive, cross-brand robot programming software. However, making robots easy to program only solves part of the problem.

There simply aren’t enough workers skilled in designing, programming and deploying automation. If we want to truly unlock automation, the people using this technology need to be equipped to do so, and that means US manufacturing needs to train tens of thousands of workers in the skills necessary to implement automation! The future of US manufacturing requires that we democratize automation not only with easy-to-use technology but also with accessible worker training/upskilling. We believe that it should not take weeks or months to learn how to use robotic automation, but days.

That is why we are so excited to launch READY Academy – an online training hub where anyone from manufacturing (operators, machinists or even executives) can learn how to design, program, deploy, and manage automation. READY Academy will feature a curriculum built around robot programming with our award-winning Forge/OS, but it also covers everything you need to know about the basics of automation. What do you need to know to design an automated workcell? What are the components, and how do they work together? What are the safety considerations that must be factored into a successful cell? How does one evaluate a potential automation project? How do you scale automation across the manufacturing floor or across multiple factories? These are just some of the topics that will be covered in depth on READY Academy, in order to empower the next generation of manufacturing professionals with the skills they need to leverage robotic automation.

On October 2nd READY Academy will launch with 40+ hours of curriculum that is available to anyone in manufacturing – for free! This is just the start. We’ll be expanding the curriculum rapidly over the coming months. Why? Because we believe that in order to unlock broad deployment of automation, robots must be easier to program and people in manufacturing must be empowered to rapidly learn the skills necessary to design, program and install that robotic automation.

Explore classes and register for READY Academy.

Join us, and together we can transform US manufacturing for the better!

– Kel