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HRC Partners Join Forces to Host Robotics Summer Camps and NEAT Labs Open House

Summer has not caused the momentum to slow down for the Heartland Robotics Cluster. Metro Community College and UNL College of Engineering have been busy with camps and tours in hopes of drawing more interest in robotics and automation among both youth/students and industry professionals.


Metro Community College Summer Camp


Through the robotics summer camps, participants will have the chance to immerse themselves in hands-on activities, designing, building, and programming tools. They will explore the fundamental concepts of automation, such as sensors, circuits, and programming languages. Moreover, the camps will foster teamwork, creativity, and communication skills as campers collaborate on exciting projects and challenges. Participants range in age from 10-15 years old, mostly 3rd-8th graders. Students will have five weeks of robotics classes to choose from with 2 classes each day, usually about three hours per class.



“The door is being opened to our youth to see the vision of what robotics can do. We are inspiring them to discover new skills build useful tools for everyday life and most of all learn that robotics is fun.”, says Randy Veach, Project Manager at Metro Community College.


Engaging in robotics and automation not only fosters curiosity and innovation but also enhances crucial skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. These camps provide a nurturing environment for children to explore their passions and unleash their creativity while discovering the endless possibilities offered by robotics and automation.




Heartland Robotics Cluster, UNL College of Engineering host NEAT Labs Open House


The UNL College of Engineering in partnership with Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Heartland Robotics Cluster hosted an open house on June 7 to showcase the college’s Nebraska Engineering Additive Technology (NEAT) Laboratories and endorse collaboration opportunities in additive manufacturing for area companies.

Located in Scott Engineering Center Room 111 on City Campus, NEAT Labs was established in spring 2018 as part of the Nano-Engineering Research Core Facility in the College of Engineering. The facility features three primary instruments, including two Lumex Avance-25 Hybrid Metal 3D printers and an Optomec Lens 3D Hybrid Machine Tool. Companies and organizations in attendance included Kawasaki, Blue Print Engines, Vishay Intertechnology, Hughes Brothers and NUtech Ventures.


Following a short presentation in Nebraska Hall 188, NEAT Labs tours were offered throughout the afternoon highlighting the lab’s capabilities to assist industry partners in advanced manufacturing and technology development.


About Metro Community College Metropolitan Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a comprehensive, public community college that offers affordable, quality education to all residents of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Founded in 1974, MCC has the largest enrollment out of six community colleges in Nebraska and is the second-largest postsecondary institution in the state. MCC serves more than 40,000 unique credit and noncredit students.


About UNL College of Engineering As the only engineering college in Nebraska, we take our role very seriously. We provide our students with professors with national and international expertise in their fields, the latest technology, quality facilities, a vast network of successful alumni and friends of the college, and caring staff. The UNL College of Engineering is also unique in its variety of locations: three campuses in Nebraska's two largest cities.


About Nebraska MEP The Nebraska MEP is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. Residing within the U.S. Department of Commerce, MEP was created in 1988 with the intent of enhancing the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturers. Today, the MEP program consists of 51 centers in every state and Puerto Rico with over 400 service locations and 1,300 technical experts working together to advance and strengthen U.S. manufacturing.


About the Heartland Robotics Cluster The Heartland Robotics Cluster received a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration in September 2022 to build the robotic/automation infrastructure for workforce development, R&D, and innovation startups in Nebraska. The Heartland Robotics Cluster is a collaborative community of industry leaders, educational institutions, and technology enthusiasts dedicated to advancing the field of robotics and automation in the Heartland region. By fostering innovation, research, and education, the cluster aims to strengthen the region's position as a hub for robotics and automation.


About Invest Nebraska Invest Nebraska is a private, non-profit statewide venture development organization focused on high-growth companies in Nebraska and growing the state’s entrepreneurial economy. Invest Nebraska works directly with entrepreneurs, researchers, and companies to help commercialize their technologies, launch, and grow new businesses, and access needed capital.

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