• Klaipeda University
  • 25 September 2023

Achema Group's Support Lays Solid Foundations for the New KU Robotics Centre

Achema Group Concern has granted 51,000 euros of targeted support to Klaipėda University (KU) Future Support Fund. The equipment purchased with this donation lays a solid foundation for the new KU Robotics Centre.

The Centre, known in scientific terms as the Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will be based at the KU Marine Research Institute. On 22 September, its capacity was presented to the KU community and business representatives.

According to dr Mindaugas Kurmis, assoc. professor and Head of the Department of Informatics and Statistics at KU, the support provided has been used to purchase a professional industrial training collaborative robot kit Fanuc CRX, which includes an industrial control panel, training kits, a professional gripper as well as Dobot robot platforms and Delta X2 robot kits. All equipment is licensed and already in successful operation, some of which has already been used for the preparation of the final theses of computer science engineering students and of laboratory workbenches. "Names that might not mean anything to people unfamiliar with information technology are very informative for professionals in the digital world. They are accepted with respect, because they convey a message of progress and innovation, which is important for both the teaching staff and young people studying in IT study programmes to know," said dr Kurmis, welcoming the new technologies and the opportunities they bring with them.  

According to him, a cobot is an essential component of the equipment purchased. This is a type of robot designed to work with or alongside humans. Kobots are often used in manufacturing, logistics, medical and other industries. They are equipped with safety systems that allow it to recognise people and to stop or slow down if there is a risk in human contact. A cobot working in a laboratory will be able to carry out tasks that require delicate and precise hand movements, such as assembling small parts or even performing medical procedures. The cobot can learn from the movements demonstrated by a human and is therefore relatively easy to programme. It can be linked to other robots, industrial equipment, or software to help develop systems for the efficient distribution of work between humans and robots. "By studying and doing practical work at the KU Robotics Centre, our students will not only gain theoretical knowledge, but also much-needed practical skills in programming, controlling, and integrating robotic systems, designing and deploying AI algorithms, and exploring new applications for robots. After all, the knowledge and skills of our trained specialists will determine how widely and effectively robotics technologies will be applied in business," said dr Mindaugas Kurmis.

Prof. Artūras Razbadauskas, Rector of KU, thanked the heads of Achema Group for the significant investment in the KU Robotics Centre, which will serve research and studies, and emphasised that the new equipment increases not only the potential and competitiveness of KU, but also of the Robotics Centre itself. "The potential to work with the latest technologies and robotic systems makes the KU Robotics Centre an attractive partner for industrial companies and other organisations looking for experts in the field of collaborative robotics. This will create new business opportunities and contribute to the economic growth of the region", said prof. Razbadauskas.

"Lithuania has extremely talented and hard-working young people who want to develop, grow, generate ideas,  create, and contribute to opening new business opportunities with their creations and discoveries. We are happy about our long-standing friendship with Klaipėda University and the opportunity to contribute to the success stories of talented professionals. We believe that both we and the world will hear about their achievements in this Robotics Centre," said Lyda Lubienė, Chairwoman of the Board of Achema Group.

Since its inception, the KU Future Support Fund has been mobilising business support for the established endowment fund and for investments to strengthen the KU's material base for research and studies, to stimulate relevant research and projects, to attract talented researchers and teachers, and to motivate gifted students. Since 2021, the Foundation has signed contracts worth more than EUR 0.5 million.


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