TAFE robotics course uses Australia-first technology

South Metropolitan TAFE

In an Australia-first training initiative, all students completing a robotics qualification at South Metropolitan TAFE will have access to their own high-tech robotic arm.

With a programmable robotic arm on every desk, students undertaking a Certificate II in Integrated Technologies (Pre-vocational) (Robotics Control Systems) will be at the forefront of training in a field that is growing exponentially in industry significance.

The new course at SM TAFE’s Munster campus comprises secondary school (Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary Students, or VETDSS) and older students with an interest in the compelling and rapidly evolving field.

The 40 new ArmPi Intelligent Visual Robotic Arms will form the centrepiece of the certificate II course but may also lead you to further studies in integrated technologies, including a potential pathway towards a Diploma of Applied Technologies. 

Employing a range of operational features, the capabilities of the robotic arms ensure they are suitable for students at different levels.

Combining complex algorithms with a high-definition camera, the robotic arms can sort colour blocks, track and grab, and stack blocks intelligently. 

“Robots are taking over many routine tasks across numerous industries, particularly in the mining and engineering sectors, so now is the time to embrace this era of automation by learning robotics,” SM TAFE electrical engineering lecturer Mahir Meghji said.

“Robots contribute to economic growth and we are equipping our students to capitalise on a robotic revolution and the demands for a workforce with the right skills to thrive in this space.”

“This new course isn’t simply about learning how to operate a robot — it’s about coming up with engineering solutions to problems in industry.”

For VETDSS student Michael Castle of Victoria Park, studying at SM TAFE’s Munster campus may prove to be the catalyst to a life in the high-tech industries of the United States.

“Since I was little, I’ve always had an interest in building and assembling things, so this course struck me as being suited to my skills,” he said.

“I can see a future career working in 3D printing and prosthetics and one day would love to work within the robotics and technology sectors in the US.”

Increasing participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a priority target of the Our Priorities: Sharing Prosperity whole-of-government targets program. The target aims to see 85 per cent of Year 12 students complete two or more STEM courses or STEM-related vocational, education and training (VET) qualifications by 2024.

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