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Empowering Innovation in a Vocational College with Future-ready Innovation Centre in Oman

Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), a leader in digital innovation, collaborated with an esteemed vocational college in Oman to establish an Innovation Centre aimed at preparing students for the challenges of Industry 4.0. The Innovation Centre comprises two cutting-edge labs: a Fabrication Lab (FABLAB) for prototyping and an Advanced AI & IoT Lab. Together, these labs provide students with hands-on experience in emerging technologies and foster a culture of innovation.

Challenge: The vocational college faced the challenge of modernizing its educational approach to meet the demands of Industry 4.0. Traditional teaching methods were inadequate for preparing students for careers in technology-driven fields. There was a need to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills, ensuring students were equipped for the rapidly evolving workforce.

Solution: BCT proposed a comprehensive solution by establishing two state-of-the-art labs within the Innovation Centre. The Fabrication Lab (FABLAB) was equipped with advanced manufacturing tools, including 3D printers, CNC machines, and etching machines, to provide students with hands-on experience in digital fabrication and prototyping. The Advanced AI & IoT Lab was equipped with robotics kits, sensor modules, and development boards to enable students to explore artificial intelligence, robotics, and IoT applications.

Fabrication Lab (FABLAB) for Prototyping

The Fabrication Lab (FABLAB) offers students a hands-on experience in digital fabrication and prototyping. Equipped with state-of-the-art tools such as 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser cutters, the lab enables students to bring their ideas to life and gain practical skills in modern manufacturing techniques.

Key Equipments:

  1. 3D Printer: Offers a large build chamber and compatibility with over 280 materials, simplifying the 3D printing process for students and allowing them to explore a wide range of applications.
  2. CNC Vertical Machining Center: A high-speed machining centre suitable for machining small components, equipped with features such as ceramic bearing spindle and wider linear motion guideways for precision machining.
  3. Laboratory Etching Machine: Facilitates the etching of double-sided PCBs with features like maintenance-free etching system, digital timer, and integrated rinse zone, providing students with hands-on experience in PCB prototyping.
  4. 3-Axis CNC Based PCB Prototyping Machine: Enables students to mill and engrave various materials including plastic, wood, and aluminum, enhancing their skills in CNC machining and prototyping.
  5. UV Exposure Machine: A professional unit for UV exposure, featuring safety mechanisms and a drawer system for ease of use, allowing students to create high-quality PCBs for their projects.

Advanced AI & IoT Lab

The Advanced AI & IoT Lab at the Innovation Centre immerses students in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Equipped with a comprehensive range of tools and platforms, the lab offers hands-on experience in emerging technologies, preparing students for careers in the digital age.

Key Equipments:

1. Omni-directional Intelligent Mobile Robot with 4-DOF Robotic Arm

2. Flexible Assembly System Industry 4.0

  • Sorting Station
  • Rejection/Transfer Station
  • Storage and Shipment Station
  • Manufacturing Management (M.E.S.) HMI Application
  • Augmented Reality Application (AR)
  • Process Data Analysis Application
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System

3. Laboratory Work Bench

4. Digital Soldering Station

5. Robotic Arm Raspberry Pi Robot Kit AI Hand Building with Camera 6-DOF

6. Raspberry Pi Robotic with Camera Programmable:

7. AI Electronic DIY Tank Robot

8. Raspberry Pi 4B

9. Arduino Uno R3 Development Board

10. Starter Kit for Arduino Uno Mega Nano Complete Advanced Set w/ ESP32

11. Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Implementation: The equipment was meticulously installed and integrated into the Innovation Centre’s infrastructure to create two distinct learning environments. Each lab was designed to simulate real-world scenarios, providing students with practical skills and hands-on experience. Workshops and training sessions were conducted to familiarize students with the equipment and its applications.

Results:

  • Enhanced Learning Experience: Students gained practical skills and knowledge in digital fabrication, robotics, AI, and IoT, deepening their understanding of Industry 4.0 technologies.
  • Skill Development: The comprehensive training curriculum equipped students with the technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity necessary to thrive in the technology-driven workforce.
  • Industry Readiness: Graduates emerged from the Innovation Centre well-prepared for careers in diverse industries, with the skills and mindset needed to tackle real-world challenges.

Student Engagement & Learning Outcomes: The interactive nature of the labs engaged students in active learning and encouraged collaboration and innovation. Through hands-on projects and workshops, students develop practical skills in digital fabrication, robotics, AI, and IoT, gaining a deeper understanding of these emerging technologies. As a result, they emerge well-prepared for careers in fields such as manufacturing, engineering, automation, and data science.

Conclusion: The establishment of the Innovation Centre at the Vocational College by Bahwan CyberTek marks a significant milestone in the evolution of vocational education in Oman. By providing students with access to state-of-the-art labs and hands-on learning experiences, the centre is shaping the next generation of innovators and technology leaders. The comprehensive experiential solution offered by BCT ensures that students are well-prepared to meet the demands of the modern workforce and drive innovation in Oman’s economy.

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