A RobotLAB room is used for programming and studies, while a second accommodates robotic equipment. (Picture: Courtesy)
On May 19, Cégep Édouard-Montpetit in Longueuil and its École nationale d’aérotechnique (ÉNA) inaugurated the RobotLAB: center for learning and experimentation. This specialized laboratory, set up at ÉNA, will be used by many students, including those in the new industrial robotics program, in addition to researchers from the Aerospace Technology Center (CTA) and partner companies who will train their employees there. He raised nearly $1 million.
The RobotLAB was installed instead of two classrooms. The first is used for programming and studies, connected to the second where the robotic machines are located.
The idea of creating a robotics laboratory germinated in 2018, during discussions on the future of continuing education at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit and ÉNA.
“The wish was to create a place of learning and experimentation for teachers and students in robotics, businesses and researchers,” recalls Geneviève Dalcourt, director of continuing education and business services at the Cégep.
Starting from scratch, the Cégep and the CTA have sealed partnerships with the companies Robotech Automatisation and DIY Robotics. They were able to obtain significant funding from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), covering 80% of the budget.
New program in robotics
In the fall of 2019, Cégep Longueuil entered into an agreement with Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon to offer its students its Attestation of Collegial Studies (AEC) program in industrial robotics.
“We studied upstream the real labor needs, particularly in aeronautics where many companies want to automate certain operations, explains Ms. Dalcourt. People are at the heart of automation with the need for new training and skills. Our RobotLAB will evolve over time to adapt.”
“We dreamed of an inspiring place, adds Sylvain Lambert, director general of Cégep Édouard-Montpetit. The advanced technology that is robotics will benefit organizations from different sectors of activity and our CEGEP will be a stakeholder in these technological development opportunities.”
Following the victory of students from the Aerospace Engineering program at the RobotFly Canada Trophy, an industrial robotics competition held in February, ÉNA plans to create a student club that will have access to the RobotLAB facilities.