To research high-tech manufacturing solutions, Oakland University is setting up a new $1 million augmented reality center.
The University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science will be collaborating with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit along with a coalition of regional industry partners from vehicles to robotics to kickstart the center.
Students from both institutions will put in their brains to understand the challenges in manufacturing and figure out AR-based solutions for them. They will work on projects aimed at various domains such as enhancing remote and virtual training opportunities or creating wearable augmented reality technology to assist workers in the field.
The video game and software developer, Epic Games, is putting in $200,000 for the center as a grant. Half of this amount is going to be offered through its Epic MegaGrants Program to support private developers, educational institutions, and content creators.
The dean of Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, Louay Chamra, stated that another $800,000 was contributed by the industry coalition comprising of several members including ABB Inc., AM General, Continental, General Motors, Hirotec America, KUKA Robotics, Magna International, MAHLE Industries, Rave Computer, Siemens, and US Military Ground Vehicle Systems.
“People often see STEM and industrial design as separate fields, but we create powerful opportunities when we bring these subjects together synergistically to improve efficiency and advance industry all around us,” Chamra said.
The faculty at the new center will extensively focus on workforce development and training. Chamra believes that such a partnership will enhance the collaboration between higher education institutions and local industries while augmenting the capabilities of the state’s workforce.
“Advancing augmented reality will prepare companies in our region to be more competitive in the global marketplace and more successful in achieving goals that are part of the fourth industrial revolution,” he added.
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