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ABOUT UAT
University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

Learn More About UAT

    How a Business School Dropout Became a Robotics Engineer


    Robots and space exploration always fascinated Lynne Nethken, but she chose to study business anyways. “I didn’t know a career in robotics was an option for me,” Lynne said.   ...

    Robots and space exploration always fascinated Lynne Nethken, but she chose to study business anyways. “I didn’t know a career in robotics was an option for me,” Lynne said.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 9.02.00 AM

     Robotics Engineer Lynne Nethken

     

    After high school, Lynne enrolled in a business degree program. She felt bored. “And bored students don’t always get good grades or go to class.” So, she took some time off. She bounced around between jobs and worked in healthcare administration and tried the business school thing one more time until she decided to listen to her gut.

     

    “I had this feeling that in the next 20 to 40 years, space exploration is going to be insane, and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. She finally found the confidence to enroll in a robotics engineering degree program, where she flourished. She got to build cool stuff and broaden her skillset from day one.

     

    “Watches, rockets, cars and coffee makers are all comprised of mechanical, electrical and software engineering, so when you study robotics engineering, you’re able to work on a wide variety of projects.” The ability to pursue passion projects and solve serious problems encouraged her to keep going.

     

    She started out building robotic hands with Ardunio and Raspberry Pi. She developed wearable technology that used machine vision to help the visually impaired navigate their environment and made robotic sign language gloves for the hearing impaired. As a test engineer at Orbital ATK, Lynne developed ruggedized, consumer-grade flight systems data recorder prototype for LEO satellites. She also got to work on the eco cart project to convert a 2016 Chevy Camaro into a hybrid vehicle.

     

    Then one day a friend asked Lynne if she wanted to participate in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. A big fan of SpaceX, Lynne was in. Their first attempt, however, didn’t go so well. “Our design was too complex,” she admitted. The next year, Lynne stepped up as team captain and drove all over Arizona, recruiting a team of 100 students from four different Arizona universities.

     business-school-dropout-blog

     

    The AZ Hyperloop Team had 11 months to design a new form of transportation, while juggling school and part-time jobs. “We lived in the lab, but we loved it.” That year, the team placed 8th out of 1,300 teams from around the world. Lynne now serves as a mentor for the team, which still competes today.

     

    Now Lynne works as a robotics engineer at the small Arizona startup 10 Imaging. The 10 Imaging team works out of Perimeter83, the coworking space on UAT’s campus. Their goal is to “bring awareness to every-day devises through the integration of artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing,” Lynne said. “It’s pretty cool stuff.”

     

    Even though Lynne has a successful career in robotics and a highly marketable, technical skillset, she still deals with imposter syndrome. “Some women may feel like there’s no place for them in this male-dominated field or that they won’t be able to work on projects that they care about, but what’s great about robotics is that once you learn the fundamentals, you are equipped with the skills to pursue projects and solve problems that you’re passionate about,” she explained.

     

    The desire to attract more women and under-represented groups to robotics careers inspired Lynne to launch Robot Factory, a hands-on educational robotics program for everybody, including middle schoolers, high schoolers, young children, parents and grandparents.

     

    {% video_player "embed_player" overrideable=False, type='scriptV4', hide_playlist=True, viral_sharing=False, embed_button=False, width='640', height='360', player_id='7981840608', style='' %}

     

    Robot Factory students build robotic hands, Mars rovers that use machine vision to navigate unfamiliar terrain and Harry Potter wands that can turn on lights and TVs. But they also learn how to be an innovator.

     

    “There’s this perception that innovation comes from a random stroke of genius or a eureka moment, and it can, but there’s also a very systematic process that you can follow to develop solutions to everyday problems,” Lynne said.

     

    Sign up for Robot Factory STEM classes here.

     

    Learn more about the University of Advancing Technology's Robotics and Embedded Systems degree program here.

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    How to Make a VR Movie


    How do you make a Virtual Reality (VR) Movie? I’m sure you’ve tested out a VR headset, whether it be a game or a short film, and thought, “Wow, this is pretty cool! But how do they do it?" How do they make it so realistic, how do they place you inside the game or the film? What goes into making a VR movie? “The biggest challenge of making a VR movie is that you never...

    How do you make a Virtual Reality (VR) Movie? I’m sure you’ve tested out a VR headset, whether it be a game or a short film, and thought, “Wow, this is pretty cool! But how do they do it?" How do they make it so realistic, how do they place you inside the game or the film? What goes into making a VR movie?

    “The biggest challenge of making a VR movie is that you never quite know where the audience is going to be focusing their attention," said Hue Henry, a virtual reality professor at the University of Advancing Technology. In traditional filmmaking, one can generally assume that the audience is going to be looking where you point the camera, but in virtual reality, the audience could be looking above, below or even in the opposite direction of the elements you want them to see. "That's why it was important that we develop a system that takes user gaze into account when deciding what direction to take the story,” Hue said.

    As a film student myself, I understand this conundrum. It is easy to focus the audience’s attention to what you want when you're pointing the camera in a specific direction, but when it comes to VR, the viewer can look anywhere they want. Realistically, the viewer is looking all over once they start watching the video. When you put a VR headset on what do you do? You turn around and look around all over, right? Exactly, I do it too. So Hue has a great point.

    According to the digital hub ThinkMobiles, Making a 3D graphic VR film has multiple forms elements:

    • Computer animation
    • 3D Modeling
    • Visual Effects
    • Product Design
    • Graphic Motion Design
    • Visualization for architecture, engineering, etc.
    • Stereoscopic 3D effects

    The ideal set of equipment you need to make a VR movie includes: Unity3D, a VR headset, a 360 degree camera and Google VR SDK.

    To start, ideally you need to know, or know someone who knows, how to use the equipment. Hire someone to help you in Unity and operate the other equipment to get the best results. Also, you can figure out how to use the equipment if you don’t have anyone to help by watching YouTube tutorials and trying different things.

    Are you a game developer interested in VR movie making? "One thing that surprised me about my experience making a VR movie is just how similar digital filmmaking and video game development can be. As technology advances, these two fields are steadily growing closer together and beginning to share technologies and areas of expertise," Hue said. This opens new doors for tech-savvy experts in either field.

    So, when thinking of making a VR movie there are steps and equipment you need to see this out. If you’re going into this process blindly, I’d do a lot of research and recruit people with knowledge on VR movie making. Good luck on your VR movie making process and have fun!

    Want to make VR movies with us? Check out our Bachelor of Science in Virtual Reality.

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    UAT Hosts 'VR for Good 2018 Summit, Sponsored By VR Voice & Baltu Studios'


    Tempe, Arizona - October 29, 2018 - On November 5 and 6, 2018, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) hosted the VR for Good 2018 Summit, sponsored by VR Voice and Baltu Studios.   A prime location for this national event, UAT’s technology-infused campus in Tempe, Ariz., is full of VR equipment, developers and mentors. The ...

    Tempe, Arizona - October 29, 2018 - On November 5 and 6, 2018, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) hosted the VR for Good 2018 Summit, sponsored by VR Voice and Baltu Studios.

     

    A prime location for this national event, UAT’s technology-infused campus in Tempe, Ariz., is full of VR equipment, developers and mentors. The event schedule boasted the industry’s best all presenting and discussing the ways Virtual Reality can positively impact society. The lineup included UAT Chief Academic Officer and Provost Dr. David Bolman.

     

     

    VR-Mayor-Mark-Mitchell-2

     

     

    UAT has been teaching Virtual Reality and sending alumni to the industry for about twenty years. The positive social impact Virtual Reality can have on the world was detailed further in a recent Study International article featuring UAT’s program. The article discusses that in addition to entertainment functions, VR can be used to, “simulate big data, create augmented reality apps…and recreate day-to-day experiences.” In the early 1990’s, UAT staff and students were working with the best VR technology of the time on immersive experiences, including an archeological site map for the Egyptian government and an architectural rendering of the then-named Bank One Ballpark.

     

    Today, UAT’s VR students begin developing in the virtual world from day one. With UAT’s year-round schedule and project-based curriculum, students can obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Virtual Reality in less than 3 years and gain real world skills along the way.

     

    About UAT

     

    UAT is an elite intimate private college in Tempe, AZ focused on educating students in advancing technology who desire to innovate in the areas of emerging technology disciplines. Living on campus, students are surrounded in a true living learning technology environment that incubates their ideas into innovations that students can patent and take to market. Students must create an innovation project to graduate.

     

    About VR Voice

     

    VR Voice has developed a unique event that covers virtual reality’s positive social impact in different industries. Our speaker line-up is committed to making change via VR/AR that promotes the greater good. Industries and organizations covering healthcare, learning and education, historic preservation, museums, government agencies, communications, news and journalism, and charitable causes are being profoundly affected by the VR/AR revolution and are covered in The VR for Good Summit.

     

    Contact(s):

    Ashley Murry Valerie Cimarossa

    University of Advancing Technology

    913-526-5249 602.390.9213

    amurry@uat.edu valerie@uat.edu

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    UAT Robotics Professor Demonstrates Advancing Technology at CactusCon


    UAT attended CactusCon 2017 in the Robotics Village on Saturday, October 1, at Phoenix Convention Center.   UAT Professor Joseph Horen showed off robot demonstrations as well as Arduino programming labs for attendees to learn to program and see the results via the hardware.   The Robotics Village was a new edition to Cactus Con but turned out...

    UAT attended CactusCon 2017 in the Robotics Village on Saturday, October 1, at Phoenix Convention Center.

     

    UAT Professor Joseph Horen showed off robot demonstrations as well as Arduino programming labs for attendees to learn to program and see the results via the hardware.

     

    The Robotics Village was a new edition to Cactus Con but turned out to be a popular event for 8-17-year-olds who wanted to learn about Cyber Security and Robotics.

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    New NT Lab Equipment


    Have you been inside the New Technology Lab (NT Lab) lately? There are some new devices for UAT’s population of tech savvy individuals to use on campus. Stop in to the Bindery for a key to the NT Lab and get your innovative juices flowing with new technology! Kor-FX Gaming Vest: The Kor-FX is a haptic feedback vest that lets you feel the game you are...

    Have you been inside the New Technology Lab (NT Lab) lately? There are some new devices for UAT’s population of tech savvy individuals to use on campus. Stop in to the Bindery for a key to the NT Lab and get your innovative juices flowing with new technology!

    Kor-FX Gaming Vest: The Kor-FX is a haptic feedback vest that lets you feel the game you are playing or developing. As part of the Virtual Reality Station, students will be able to combine the vest with the Oculus Rift to create truly immersive experiences.

     

     

    Sphero Robotic Ball

     

    Sphero Robotic Ball

     

    Sphero: Sphero, an addition to the Mobile Development Station, will allow students to program a ball with a built in gyroscope. Students will be able to program games and other experiences that involve the robotic ball.

     

    Cube 3D Touch Stylus: The Touch Stylus is a haptic 3D drawing device currently located at the 3D Print and Scan Station. Students will be able to sculpt their 3D models using this pen and feel the model as they manipulate it.

     

    Epson BrightLink: The BrightLink is an interactive projector that allows students to manipulate the projection as if it were a tablet. Students will be able to map out their projects and collaborate with other students on a giant interactive screen.

     

     

    Perception Neuron Motion Capture Suit
     

    Perception Neuron Motion Capture Suit

     

    Perception Neuron: The Neuron is a 32-point wearable motion capture device set to be installed at the Virtual Reality station. Students will be able to motion capture themselves without needing a full motion capture setup and will be able to export their data to their Oculus Rift based games easily.

     

    Oculus Rift: A Virtual Reality headset that allows you to step into your favorite game, get immersed in a movie or take a virtual tour, with the aid of special electronic equipment like a helmet, headset or gloves with sensors.

     

    Epson Moverio Glasses: The Moverio glasses are an augmented reality display in a similar vein to Google Glass. It is powered by Android OS and will allow students at the Virtual Reality station to explore new ways to gamify the world.

     

    Don’t hesitate to ask for help in using any of these new devices- that’s why they are here – for students to use! Maker Tech Mike Syfritt is happy to assist students with any of the new gadgets in the NT Lab.

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    Demand for Robotics Engineers Is Growing, and It Pays Well


    In the depths of the Antarctic Ocean, robotic scientists deployed autonomous robots where no human has gone before with the goals of uncovering the speed of ice loss, obtaining samples of “salinity and temperature, oxygen and some optical properties of the water, [and predicting] future sea level rise,” according to ...

    In the depths of the Antarctic Ocean, robotic scientists deployed autonomous robots where no human has gone before with the goals of uncovering the speed of ice loss, obtaining samples of “salinity and temperature, oxygen and some optical properties of the water, [and predicting] future sea level rise,” according to CNN.

     

    The field of robotics stretches far beyond the lair of the Emperor Penguin. Roboticists utilize emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to create smart robots that provide companionship to the elderly, help with search and rescue, crawl into small spaces, fix airplane engines, cook your food, entertain humans with their acrobatics and move potted plants in and out of the sun.

     

     

    “Robotics is hardware, but it’s also software, embedded systems programming, problem solving, design and debugging multiple iterations,” said Dr. Jill Coddington, Program Champion of Robotics & Embedded Systems, Advancing Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Web Design, of the University of Advancing Technology (UAT).

     

    “The definition of a robot, and what robotics encompasses, is huge. Your little autonomous vacuum that runs around your house and vacuums for you is a robot. A slot machine is a robot. The field of robotics is expanding so much, it covers more than it ever before,” Dr. Coddington said.

     

    What the field lacks is the talent to support its exponential growth.

     

    According to Sokanu, the robotics engineer job market is expected to increase by 6.4 percent between 2016 and 2026. And over the next 10 years, the U.S. alone will need 12,500 engineers in the field. “The demand for automation and robotics will continue to fuel these high paying jobs, and we expect this to continue for the next 20 years,” Coddington said.

     

    So why aren’t more people jumping at this opportunity? Coddington believes it’s a misperception of one’s skillset and that the ability to enter a field that is beyond their reach. In reality, “The only barrier to entry of robotics is education,” Coddington explained. “Because we need so many roboticists, once you have that education, companies know you have the basics, so you can get an entry level job. That company will train you on the specifics of what they are doing.”

     

    Dr. Jill Coddington

     

    Coddington said the type of person usually drawn to the field of robotics is a detail-oriented problem solver who is good at design and iteration and likes to tinker. If you think about it, every robot needs to be programmed, and every robot needs someone to maintain, care, iterate, build and design them.

     

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a robotics engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree earns an average of more than $81,000 per year, and a robotics technician with an associate degree earns an average of $60,000 per year. Having experience in the field of robotics or at a manufacturing company can elevate your opportunities for positions, and the skillsets easily transfer from one employer to the next.

     

    Coddington also debunked the notion that robots will take all of our jobs.

     

    “The robotics industry has found that robots may replace some jobs, but they are mostly manual, dangerous or super high heat jobs. And we’re finding that the jobs we are gaining are the managers of the of the robots, where you care for or fix the robot. We’re getting higher paid jobs because of the robots,” Coddington said.

     

    UAT Student William Bryant & Murphy the Robot

     

    Taking the leap to enter the field of robotics takes curiosity, initiative and passion.

     

    “The sky isn’t even the limit. We use robots to fix our satellites and explore the deep sea. Robots are becoming more pervasive in our lives. We’re going to see more and more robots all the time."

    UAT offers online and in-person Robotics and Embedded Systems degree classes that teach you real-world skills needed for a position in the robotics field from day one. Students need little to no knowledge in robotics to start their education and will gain hands-on exposure to the latest technologies used in the current job market.

     

    If you’re curious about programming, electrical engineering, digital maker or fabrication, UAT will help you take your skills set to the next level. You can learn more about earning your Robotics and Embedded Systems degree at UAT here.

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