Fresno State processing lab gets new robotic arm

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State's Bee Sweet Citrus Processing Laboratory just got a new robotic arm.

It was donated by Bee Sweet Citrus and its main job is to take boxes of fruit and put them on pallets.

Fresno State senior Noe Troibio said he's looking forward to learning more about the FANUC robotic arm.

"Everything is leaning towards automation and learning how to work with that will give us those fundamentals to learn to work with automated arms," he said.

The robotic arm can reach nearly seven feet and holds about 150 pounds. Students will learn how to program it and set different speeds.

Ultimately it will help those interested in the food processing and packing industry.

"If they can see how it operates and the programming side of it and being able to make mistakes on it helps them to learn," said Bee Sweet Citrus president, Jim Marderosian.

He explained that he has struggled to find qualified workers who have experience with automated equipment, and with the lack in mind, Fresno State was the perfect place to add in the technology to the existing processing lab.

Alex Alexandrou, with Fresno State's Industrial Technology Department, said that this will really help open doors for many students.

"Very few universities have such facilities on their campus and also provide access, provide real, laboratory experience to their students. So this particular robotic arm and the packing line behind it really offers a competitive advantage to Fresno State students," he explained.

While the robotic arm was donated to one lab Marderosian hopes that other departments will also be able to utilize the equipment.
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