Summary Mechatronic Learning Systems from Festo Didactic Shine for the First Time at Automate 2023 Highlighting the importance of workforce development as North American reshoring accelerates, exhibits from Festo Didactic, the learning arm of automation supplier Festo, were within the Festo booth at Automate 2023 for the first time. The company also hosted two conference presentations—one on real-time data for artificial intelligence (AI) and one on Industry 4.0 trends. The Festo Learning Experience, Festo LX , is the company’s new online learning portal. Festo LX focuses on the growing need for more individualized learning by providing modular resources for technical training. These resources can be individually assembled into courses and entire learning paths. Existing courses can be modified as desired to meet an employer’s or school’s requirements and new text, image, or video content is easily added. The courses ensure student engagement by using a variety of instructional formats, including video, animation and simulation. “Workforce professionals and educators must understand the key challenges and adjust career pathways to be successful,” said Ted Rozier, director of Digital, Advanced Technology and Robotics at Festo Didactic . In his presentation on how organizations can use real-time data from robotics and automated manufacturing components to drive AI-based solutions, Rozier covered the types of data that must be captured, the skillsets that will enable frontline workers to thrive in an AI environment, and the technical competencies that educational institutions should be integrating into their curriculums today. “Manufacturers use automation and data exchange among robotics and machines to maximize uptime, shorten lead times and reduce scrap today,” Rozier said. “Students and educators need to understand the fourth industrial revolution and the emergence of applied AI in order to help manufacturers succeed,” said Rozier. The Festo booth showcased Festo Didactic’s Robotic Manufacturing Production System (MPS) training station, which is used to teach students about robotic material handling, machine vision and safety. Featuring automation components from Festo and vision systems from SICK, its 360-degree Safety Awareness package consists of two area scanners integrated through a safety PLC. The MPS robotic station is a comprehensive curriculum and hardware package that integrates into any robot platform to teach the basics of robot safety and risk mitigation. Besides learning systems, Festo shows its UR+ certified multi-axis solution for Universal Robots. It adds up to four additional axes of motion beyond the UR cobot’s six axes. About The Author Renee Bassett is chief editor for InTech magazine and Automation.com , and publications contributing editor for ISA. Bassett is an experienced writer, editor, and consultant for industrial automation, engineering, information technology, and infrastructure topics. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from Indiana University, Bloomington, and is based in Nashville.