University of Houston Unveils Cutting-Edge Robotics Lab

At the lab’s opening ceremony last week, UH faculty and Omron representatives looked at a variety of senior capstone projects, including a sorting robot and a mobile robotic billboard. The lab contains an area dedicated to senior design projects, which provides real world design experience, which is helpful for gaining employment after graduation.

“Prospective employers will expect them to speak intelligently about what they worked on for their design project so the experience they gain at this stage is very important,” says Len Trombetta, the associate department chair. “This makes our graduates very marketable because these are skills companies want. We’re grateful to Omron for making this possible.”

Omron Automation Americas President, CEO and COO Robb Black described the importance of preparing today’s students for the latest challenges in engineering and manufacturing. “We want to bring the skills they have learned in school into the manufacturing sector,” says Black. “I think it’s a great way for students to learn real-world technology and apply it once they leave.”


“Omron also donated three training units that enable students to learn how to use programmable logic control (PLC) devices for factory automation applications,” says Len Trombetta, associate chairman of the electrical and computer engineering department. “That’s a very marketable skill that has benefitted our students when they graduate.

“Learning about PLCs has enabled young engineers to discover more about how automated factories work,” adds Trombetta. “They’re also developing all kinds of ideas for new industrial automation projects.

“Having a dedicated state-of-the-art laboratory space makes a huge difference to the students,” claims Trombetta. “If you walk into a laboratory, and there’s equipment there for you and
resources available to you, you’re going to do a better job than if you have to fight for a bench or scrounge for equipment.

“It means a lot for the students to be able to come in and have a place they call their own, where they can work on their projects and have all the equipment and resources they need,” Trombetta points out.

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