SERVO-ROBOT funds Engineers-in-Residence to Study Artificial Intelligence
Fairfield University’s School of Engineering recently announced a new working partnership with SERVO-ROBOT, a global industry leader in robotic automated manufacturing. Through a two-year agreement, SERVO-ROBOT will provide funding in the amount of $180K to support the launch of the new Engineer-in-Residence Program (EIR) at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). Together, both partners will engage in research to advance the next generation of intelligent robot design.
Dr. Doug Lyon, Director of the Electrical and Computer Engineering program and the director of the SERVO-ROBOT partnership in the Applied Research Laboratory in the School of Engineering, said, “We are very excited to begin this partnership with Servo-Robot. The research experience we give the students today will help them to become the technical leaders of tomorrow.”
The EIR Program was created to develop academic and commercial relationships that lead to advancing applied research at the School of Engineering while simultaneously supporting the partner company’s mission to advance research and development.
SERVO-ROBOT was founded in 1983 and is the largest manufacturer of dedicated vision and sensing systems for intelligent welding automation and other industrial robotic processes. It is the recognized leader in the performance improvement of joining processes such as laser seam tracking, laser seam searching, and weld inspection through 3-D laser vision technology. With headquarters in Canada, it covers the global market with locations in several countries including China, USA, Japan and Germany.
Through the EIR Program, two SERVO-ROBOT employees will conduct applied research in the School’s newly opened Applied Research Laboratory, working closely with Dr. Lyon as well as graduate engineering students. Research will focus on artificial intelligence for industrial robotic systems.
Jean-Paul Boillot, Chairman and CEO of SERVO-ROBOT, said that he believes this new venture will encourage innovation in both partners. “We expect that Dr. Lyon will challenge us to think in new ways and that this partnership will allow us to exchange ideas and benefit from each other,” he said. “We are a company filled with established experts as well as rising, young professionals, but it is always good for companies to engage with experts outside their own umbrella. Our goal is to always create new products and new ideas that produce concrete results for our customers.”
In addition to advancing applied research in the field of robotics, cultivating relationships and people will be a goal for both the School of Engineering and SERVO-ROBOT. “Research is not only about creating a product at SERVO-ROBOT, it’s also about creating people,” said Jean-Paul Boillot. “We need to prepare for a new generation of managers.”
Dr. Lyon said, “Our students will benefit the most from this relationship as they will be taking courses and doing research in this field.” The first student selected to work in the EIR Program is an electrical and computer engineering graduate student from WuHan Textile University in China. Additional students will be selected for this program later in 2016. Dr. Lyon said, “Our partnership not only allows us to develop ideas and products, but there’s the potential to connect good people and students, strengthen our international partnerships, and build relationships with other companies in our Advanced Research Laboratory.”
Pictured L-R: Dr. Doug Lyon, Director of the Graduate Electrical and Computer Engineering program in the School of Engineering; Jean-Paul Boillot, Chairman and CEO of SERVO-ROBOT; and Kevin Lawlor, Executive Vice President, Fairfield University, sign agreement to launch Engineer in Residence Program.