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Russian-Finnish Industry 4.0 educational project supported by a cross-border cooperation program


Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology,  and the Russian developer of educational robotics ROBBO Ltd. launch the implementation of a joint project of “Practice-oriented children’s education in the Industry 4.0 sphere on the basis of a unified open educational hardware platform” (KS1950, POETA, 2020-2022).

The project is supported by the Cross-Border Cooperation Program “Russia – South East Finland 2014-2020” co-financed by the European Union, Russia and Finland; part of the funds will be provided by ROBBO Ltd. The audience of the project consists of high and higher school students and teachers of South Karelia (Finland), St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region (Russia).

The purpose of cooperation is the development and certification in the EU of a unique training platform, i.e., a system of instruction materials and hardware and software resources for teaching Industry 4.0 technologies: robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of things, and programming.

Teachers at schools in the border regions will have at their disposal a set of guidelines for practical lessons and testing. The material support for classes will include the ROBBO universal hardware modules organized into a unified system (boards, sensors, etc.) and samples of program codes. A specially created information system will support organization of the educational process.

The developed methodology will be broadly presented among the target audience. For the teachers, more than 50 webinars on teaching methods in the field of robotics, additive technologies, cyberphysical systems and the Internet of things will be provided. It is planned to attract more than 2,000 children from Finland and Russia to participate in numerous educational events:  camps, open lessons, seminars and competitions.

Within the frame of the project, employees of the Laboratory “Industrial Systems for Streaming Data Processing” of the SPbPU NTI Center,  with participation of experts from the  SPbPU Institute of Computer Science and Technology will create an integrated development environment for programming platform components, as well as will act as co-executors for the following events:

  1. Development, manufacture, testing and certification of the platform in the EU
  2. Production and assembly of components of educational complexes into a single platform
  3. Development of teaching materials for educational activities within the project
  4. Organization of international conferences, training camps, lessons and open seminars, contests and competitions on the topic of the project at schools and universities.

On January 20, 2020, the first kick-off meeting for the project took place at the House of Finland in St. Petersburg; during it, the participants approved an action plan and discussed upcoming events, including the holding of an international educational camp in Russia, online and offline children’s competitions and Olympiads, and preparation for the manufacture, integration and testing of components of educational complexes.

Leonid Chechurin, professor, head of the Engineering Group at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, project coordinator for LUT University:

“Our joint project is an opportunity to help schools and students master a kind of ‘literacy’ of a present-day innovator: the capacity to turn a computer or smart phone into a control unit for a robot or a 3D printer, the ability to write functional programs on their own, to understand how modern devices communicate with each other. Teaching children the technologies of the modern industry is also an attempt to show how much more exciting it is to use a computer as a tool, rather than as a game console, and that a fast mind is a lot more important than a fast processor. Children should see a feasible future profession in their first games with robots, an invitation to solve the next, trickier tasks.”

 Marina Bolsunovskaya, Head of the Industrial Systems for Streaming Data Processing Laboratory of the SPbPU NTI Center, Candidate of Engineering, Associate Professor at SPbPU, Project Coordinator from the Polytechnic University:

“The implementation of the project will allow us to create complexes of technological and software solutions for teaching professions of the future. Students will be able to show their knowledge, and the learning process will become ‘livelier’. The platform will provide an opportunity to obtain new knowledge and skills, extract the necessary information from the data stream and various sources, establish patterns in data arrays and analyze them for decision-making.”

Dmitry Arsenyev, Vice Rector for International Relations, Dr. of Engineering:

“The cross-border cooperation program of South East Finland and Russia is particularly focused on regional development, and the main task of all ongoing projects (and Polytechnic University already has six projects of the kind!) is to improve the quality of life, economy, and education in the respective border areas. The POETA project is a striking example of combining the efforts of universities and science and technology companies to introduce new approaches to education, fully meeting the declared priority of the program, i.e., the development of a territory of innovation, high qualification and quality education. As a leading engineering educational institution, Polytechnic University pays considerable attention to working with talented youth, actively contributes to the spread of innovation in high school education, in the hobby groups, the fablab movement and student projects. ”