A new initiative between Clemson University and SeeDaten Inc. will allow students and faculty to explore augmented reality and mixed reality learning tools at CU-ICAR, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research.
In support of the initiative, SeeDaten has made an in-kind donation in excess of $100,000, according to a news release from Clemson University. The funds will support the provision of reality, augmented reality and mixed reality software specifically in the area of automotive manufacturing. These tools aim to help bridge the manufacturing skills gap that could leave as many as 2 million jobs unfilled by 2025, the news release said.
“We are proud to support the next generation of engineering talent at Clemson University by providing advanced tools to enhance their learning and comprehension levels,” Philip Riddle, president, CEO and founder of SeeDaten Inc., said in the news release. “By working with the students and faculty at CU-ICAR, we hope to better equip future leaders and help industry reduce the manufacturing skills gap. Our goal is to develop this into a model for collaborative learning and explore opportunities for technological advancement.”
Activities related to the initiative will primarily take place in Clemson’s Vehicle Assembly Center in Greenville, where researchers, students and manufacturers are already working side by side to explore advanced manufacturing techniques and develop supporting prototypes under Laine Mears, the center’s founding director and BMW SmartState Chair in Automotive Manufacturing at the university.
“The changing landscape in manufacturing calls for new and innovative approaches to providing the workforce of tomorrow with the skills needed to succeed,” Mears said in the news release. “Collaborations with industry innovators such as SeeDaten allow us to easily demonstrate tools that transfer knowledge to build skills more efficiently and effectively than with traditional methods. This better leverages the digital technologies commonly applied in automated processes to benefit the human element of manufacturing.”
Rapidly changing conditions and processes in manufacturing environments mean workforces need quickly and efficiently delivered information and training, and training implementors need a rapid way to create easily understandable materials, the release said. By leveraging flexible and engaging augmented reality technologies, industry leaders hope to dramatically improve learning and performance outcomes.
“SeeDaten’s generous gift of ioxp augmented reality software is enabling our students to get hands-on experience with advanced augmented reality (AR) and worker support systems that have the potential to change how the South Carolina workforce interacts with Industry 4.0 manufacturing systems,” Matthew Krugh, one of the Clemson graduate research assistants working with the software, said in the release. “Empowered through this technology, we can better understand the abilities of current and future commercial AR systems and learn foundational skills that are required for the success of digital manufacturing in South Carolina.”
Graduate students at CU-ICAR will also use the software to support tool and safety training for Clemson’s Deep Orange program.
“As manufacturing and systems become more complex, implementing advanced training tools is crucial to prepare our students for success in industry,” said Chris Paredis, BMW Endowed Chair in Automotive Systems Integration and Deep Orange program director. “Collaborating with companies such as SeeDaten helps us accelerate that process.”
SeeDaten is an IT solution provider based in Duncan.