The ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Institute selected a project team tasked with the development of a virtual reality (VR) prototype for assessing and credentialing advanced manufacturing workers. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate how VR and similar technology can be used to provide incumbent manufacturing workers with the ability to earn credentials based upon the knowledge, skill, and abilities (KSAs) gained through on-the-job training in a manufacturing facility incorporating robotics and automation, often referred to as Industry 4.0.
Funding for this project was provided through the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program and is designed to leverage the investment made by ManTech in the Open EdX learning platform.
Selected organizations will work with the ARM Institute to develop a Robotic Technician assessment test to be delivered via VR and/or similar simulation capabilities incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimize the assessment capabilities in future versions.
“Many potential and current manufacturing technicians have prior KSAs that can easily be upskilled for robotics and automation. Providing a low-cost testing mechanism to validate competency level achievement in potential and current robotic and automation manufacturing employees will shorten the time to productivity for employers”, stated Linda Wood, ARM Institute Senior Certification Manager. “I am excited by the caliber of expertise collaborating with the ARM Institute as we attempt to push the limits of virtual reality to include its use for manufacturing competency assessment.”
The prototype, along with documentation on lessons learned, will be available to ARM members in the Fall of 2022.