Center for Applied Robotics and Automation

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CARA Introduction

In March of 2021 V.U. was awarded an 8 million dollar grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through the competitive Phase 3 of its initiative, Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities. The grant will help VU build a talent pipeline for Industry 4.0 in advanced automation and collaborative robots, or cobots. The Center for Applied Robotics and Automation collaborates with the University’s partners, Telamon Corporation and Techman Robots. The center will provide training for students in manufacturing and logistics in order to develop a workforce ecosystem for Industry 4.0 in Indiana. It serves as a training lab and hub for developing curricula and credentials related to cobots throughout the state. Cobot learning labs are currently in Vincennes, Jasper, and Lebanon.

The center’s mission also includes helping VU expand its ongoing efforts to develop and promote Industry 4.0 education and training to K-12 students. It supports endeavors to reach students by engaging them in STEM-focused programming, building on existing partnerships with CTE educators throughout the state, deploying cobots to various Early College Career Centers, and continuing VU’s collaboration with Purdue’s Indiana Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC). The center also trains industry partners who plan to integrate collaborative robots into their facilities.

Vincennes University is committed to empowering individuals and industries with cutting-edge knowledge in cobot and Industry 4.0 technology. Through education, hands-on exposure, and comprehensive training, the CARA ignites a passion for automation. By offering first-class learning experiences, we are a catalyst for cultivating adept professionals who drive productivity and reshape industries.

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Kimberly Wright, Director

By Phone: 812-698-1894
By E-mail:

By Mail: College of Technology Building
Central Office: 2nd Floor, Room A231
1300 Chestnut Street
Vincennes, IN 47591

Wright possesses a passion for VU. Since 2001, she has held a variety of roles with the University. Wright has been involved in numerous workforce development initiatives relating to upskilling and training workers, developing curriculum and partnerships, and managing teams and projects of all sizes.

Previously, Wright contributed to VU’s launch of the first Amazon Mechatronics and Robotics apprenticeship program in the nation as the program's manager. Since 2020, the program has trained more than 400 apprentices from diverse backgrounds to work as technicians across the United States. Wright is a well-respected former faculty member of the College of Technology. She taught computer-integrated manufacturing robotics and electronics. Wright also held program coordinator and assessment positions. Additionally, she directed a Project Lead the Way initiative offering innovative learning experiences for five local high schools. She also coordinated the Early College Program at Vincennes Lincoln High School.

She holds two VU degrees, an associate degree in Robotics and a bachelor’s degree in Technology Management. Wright earned a master’s degree in Adult Education and Executive Development from Ball State University.