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robotics and coding
April 23, 2018 : Southern Campus offers workforce training in robotics, coding basics
Business owners and entrepreneurs can learn about robotics and coding basics in upcoming workshops at Ohio University Southern. The workforce training is part of Southern’s Business Enterprise Support and Training (BEST) project funded by a Rural Business Development Grant from the USDA.
Advances in technology have lowered the cost of robots, making the devices more attainable for small business owners. Once, robotics seemed far into the future, but more and more, robotics is an everyday reality for many small businesses, including manufacturing, assembly, food-service and many other industries.
Business owners and entrepreneurs need to understand how robotics work and how adding robotics can enhance their operation, no matter what industry they’re in.  Among the most affordable and accessible robots are Arduino boards, which are open-source electronics platforms based on easy-to-use hardware and software.
Mary Lou Malone, Director, Information Technology, Computer Science Technology Program, and Community Education said there has never before been such a widely available and affordable platform for robotics development as there is with Arduino Boards. “Budding developers are able to grow professionally by using these programmable circuit boards to create innovative projects that would have cost a fortune in the past, said Malone.  “While the Arduino technologies are considered entry-level, they are certainly a gateway to more constructive electronic programmable projects, she said.  “(Arduinos) provide a wonderful foundational understanding of the robotics programming industry,” Malone concluded.
A series of three workshops on robotics and coding basics for adult learners is scheduled to begin in a few weeks at the Southern Campus in Ironton. There is no cost for participants, thanks to the grant, however, registration is required.  The workshop dates are May 5, May 12 and May 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
IT Specialist Randall Bazell is one of the workshop instructors. He said Arduino boards are programmed using the C/C++ programming language, which is one of the most common among traditionally educated developers. “The possibilities of programming related to Arduino boards is really only limited by your imagination - if you can think of a situation or scenario, you could most likely bring that idea to life using this technology,” he said.  Arduino programming has “opened the door for robotics to laymen and experts alike, giving people all over the world an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality,” Bazell said.
Participants can register online for the Robotics and Coding Basics for Business workshop by visiting For more information, call Southern Campus Workforce Success at 740-533-4593.