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Gen Z Robotics in the ChatGPT Era – AlleyWatch

Recently, I had the privilege of hosting my company’s 64th Annual Idea Dinner on the challenges and opportunities facing the automation industry. ff Part of Venture Capital’s mission is to partner with companies to enhance the reach of their portfolios and contribute to the broader innovation ecosystem. In this spirit, I have assembled his 15 leaders from manufacturing, real estate, construction, defense, and the broader mechatronics ecosystem. Over his dinner, each attendee shared his experience recruiting, retaining, and attracting quality talent during his Gen Z era, sparking discussion.

My good friend, dinner companion, and futurist Nicky Greenberg shared five insights about this new generation of employees.

  1. Generation Z wants to work on projects that are cool and sexy.
  2. Generation Z values ​​inexperience and naivety.
  3. They are not afraid to experiment and fail.
  4. They expect to speak in the room.
  5. Low-value, monotonous work is unattractive to them.

According to Greenberg, by 2030, millennials and Gen Z will make up about three-quarters of the U.S. workforce. She tactfully warns her X’ers ​​that this population is not only the world’s largest demographic, but also the first generation that has never known a world without the internet and cell phones. Fred Wilson says: The world is in turmoil with his ChatGPT and massive tech layoffs, but startups are still looking for top talent.

According to The Robot Report, December 2022 saw an increase in private funding for robotics innovation, surpassing 2021 investment. This surge has taken him over $1.14 billion in 55 deals, ranging from investments in new sensor technology to full-stack autonomous solutions. For example, European self-driving truck startup Enride raised $500 million in December, up from $95 million two years ago. The trend is against global technology selloffs and will be a boon to newly laid off electrical, mechanical and software engineers. At the same time, as more robotics companies scale, there will be pressure to train new robotics technicians to fill the void in the ever-growing list of open positions.

As an adjunct professor, I am fortunate to be able to engage young minds in entrepreneurship. Many universities, including mine, have expanded innovation labs for startups, but few have built targeted programs to train the next generation of robotic founders. Nestled in the picturesque mountains of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University (PSU) is home to the newest robotics degree program in the United States. Last fall, I interviewed President Dr. Donald Burks to hear his vision for training Gen Z roboticists.

“About seven years ago we reorganized the entire university,” explains the administrator of 4,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students. “We changed from a standard university with colleges and departments to seven clusters,” shared Dr. Brix. He further explained that switching to a cluster-based program allows for greater experimentation, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. he continued. One of these clusters is Arts & Technologies. The focus is on how to bring together the art community and technicians. He further hinted that his overall mission was to create new technologies, which led him to build his own robotics cluster. This bold vision builds on New Hampshire’s leading role in high school robotics competitions. In fact, the FIRST Governor’s Cup is held every year at the university. “We started getting into the robotic space more and more. So we decided that this was a place without programs and asked how we could build a four-year program.” From designing a program for , to receiving a $1 million grant to “set up the lab” over the past year, and sharing the journey to starting hands-on training for students.

“Plymouth State University has always been a center of innovation and technology for our students, and we are thrilled to have secured $1 million to maintain that excellence. We will support the construction of a state-of-the-art robotics lab that will provide The grant will enable a 4,500-square-foot facility with best-of-breed equipment in the IoT sector, including resources for additive manufacturing, 3D printing, laser cutting, PCB circuit board design, CnC workstations, ROS visualization, Gazebo simulator, and more. is part of the , FANUC’s collaborative robots. This will enable PSU’s Robotics Bachelor’s degree program to offer courses in electronics, mechanics, microcontrollers, manufacturing technology, and programming. “Most robotics programs focus on teaching students how to build and operate machines, but through PSU’s cluster learning model, robotics students can collaborate with businesses, non-profits, and other external organizations. and get the chance to team up on real-world projects,” boasts the April press release.

“I accepted first class. It’s just a pilot with 12 students on board,” says Dr. Brix. In the following year, he wants to double enrollment so that he can increase enrollment proportionately as he builds new classes. The mix of students reflects his model of the university’s unique cluster. “One of the reasons we developed clusters is that these seven clusters are so that there is a lot of crosstalk between all these communities. So when I talk about clusters. , which means these aren’t departments.These aren’t universities.They’re just groups of individuals who come together and work across many disciplines.” If you have questions about motivating yourself to do so. Dr. Brix suggested that his cluster his model is probably best suited for the new generation. “We accept different students from different fields, but we build a team-based environment so that they can help each other. He further explained that humanities and arts students help balance math and science-minded peers. I’m actually testing ideas and concepts with students,” exclaimed Dr. Brix. His sage wisdom echoed in my head last week when my dinner guest discussed a revolutionary college education to meet the unique needs of this Chat-GPT generation.

Reprinted with permission. Gen Z Robotics in the ChatGPT Era – AlleyWatch

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