George Brown College ventures into the world of service robots

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The demand for service robots is growing, with the market expected to top $30 billion by 2020. Service robots will complement and change the jobs of our future. That’s why George Brown has partnered with international system integrator and robotic solutions provider, GlobalDWS Open New Browser Window, and Autonetics Universe Open New Browser Window, a leader in Canadian innovation specializing in service robots.

Through this new partnership, George Brown will study the potential of service robots on campus and with our partners, and develop programming to meet the needs of the future workforce.

“We are honoured to provide this unique opportunity to a new generation of engineers and entrepreneurs. These brilliant young minds will utilize service robot technology to create new possibilities,” said Ian McGowan, Founder & CEO, Autonetics Universe

“Understanding service robot programming and the scalability to integrate with enterprise platforms, opens doors to vast opportunities in business and tech. We’re proud to give these students hands-on experience as a first step to creating an exciting future,” adds Rami Wehbe, Co-Founder & CTO, GlobalDWS.

So, what exactly is a service robot? It’s a robot used in a wide range of industries and a variety of settings from banks, malls and restaurants, to hotels, airports and more. The robots are used in professional environments to improve the interaction and collaboration between human and machine. For example, they can be programmed to take an order at a restaurant, provide campus directions or answer student questions.

Service robots on campus

George Brown received “Georgie” the Robot, a service robot, as part of this partnership. Georgie has been making appearances in classrooms and greeting guests at college events. The robot “lives” at our Teaching and Learning Exchange (TLX).

“I’ve been asked if we think service robots might replace people in the workplace, but we don’t believe that will be the case. Instead, we believe service robots will enhance the user experience and augment the workforce. They have the potential to help us work better and smarter,” said Rick Huijbregts, George Brown’s Vice-President, Strategy and Innovation. “We need to focus on how to work with them, rather than how we will work against one another. Through this new collaboration with GlobalDWS and Autonetics Universe, George Brown College will be at the forefront in shaping and developing this new, exciting world of work.”

The college plans to explore how robots like “Georgie” can add value for students and employees, and how we can develop curricula for robotics programs. We’ll also study the impact service robots will have on the workforce of the future.

We want your input

As we explore the future of service robots, we want to give everyone in the George Brown community the opportunity to share opinions and ideas.

Employees and students can log into iGBC.ca to share your thoughts.