UR cobots help prepare students for the industry of the future


In Short

In the Minas Gerais state in Brazil, a revolution is underway, preparing students for industry 4.0. SESI and SENAI, two educational institutions that assist Brazilian industry in becoming more competitive while also improving worker well-being, have integrated collaborative robots into the curriculum. The choice of Universal Robots is due to their ease of use, safety, and the ability to work side-by-side with operators without traditional safety barriers.


Industry Education
Country Brazil
Number of Employees 1000+
Cobot used UR3e
Components used Co-Act EGH Gripper from Schunk - RobotGuidance Camera from Sensopart - Smart Process 4.0 from Exxer

We have a very close partnership with UR, which brings us the newest in the market. SENAI and UR have a lot to add to the community and to our students in schools. Today, in the 4.0 Centers, almost 80% of the robots are from UR, so the robot is easy to operate. Within industries today, there are many robots of this type, so we bring them what’s already in the industry, so that the student can learn and replicate later

Fábio Freitas, Technology Analyst, FIEMG - Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais

The business transformation:

The Industrial Federation and SENAI identified the difficulty that the industry faces in undergoing digital transformation (transformation focused on enabling 4.0 technologies) in the manufacturing environment. Therefore, with the intention of aiding growth and transformation, 4.0 Centers were created, a unique SENAI initiative throughout Brazil. In 2023, the delivery of the 4.0 Centers to more than 430 SENAI locations spread across Brazil was completed. The 4.0 Centers aim to contribute to the industry's biggest challenge, which is to make old machines and equipment integrate with modern and updated equipment.

How They Did It

Ease of Use

Ease of Use

The UR cobots, notably different from traditional industrial robots in terms of interface programming, and safety settings, are a central part of the SENAI 4.0 laboratories. They offer a practical and immersive experience for students, allowing them to become familiar with industry 4.0 concepts and better prepare for the job market.

"Collaborative robotics is not only collaborative due to mechanical and safety aspects. When we look at the universe of collaborative robots and UR products, in particular, UR robots do not only differ constructively from the traditional industrial robot; in terms of ease [of use] and interface programming, there is also a very big difference," says Domingos Adriano, CTO/Director of Education and Technology at Exxer (a Latin American provider of technological solutions for vocational education).

Involved Technologies: SMART 4.0

Involved Technologies: SMART 4.0

Exxer, the project integrator, has created SMART 4.0 Concept, an educational platform comprised of stations that bring industrial hardware and software components into the educational environment, orchestrating technologies from the so-called industry 4.0 in a multidisciplinary context.

The platform includes the main enabling technologies of Industry 4.0, such as digital simulation, IoT, collaborative robot, system integration, augmented reality, Big Data Analytics, and cloud computing.

Each station is equipped with the latest sensor technologies, actuators, control, and supervision for industrial automation. Additionally, there are resources to explore topics such as industrial networks, robotics, and cybersecurity. In the software layers, there is integration with automation systems, which are typical characteristics of industry 4.0, with development software, supervision, production management, and cloud computing. The system integrates sensors and PLCs with cloud IoT platforms, through IoT protocols. This way, it is possible to monitor productivity and consumption information in real time.

The platform also incorporates the digital twin solution, which allows for the simulation and virtual commissioning of the system. With this educational solution, the teacher has the opportunity to teach, in practice and comprehensively, industry 4.0 applications to their students.

Training students to stand out in the WorldSkills Olympics

Training students to stand out in the WorldSkills Olympics

UR cobots are fundamental in the WorldSkills Olympics, allowing students to face real challenges applicable to the industrial environment.

"The WorldSkills Olympics is the world's leading vocational education competition,  subjecting the students to real challenges,  that they will find in the job market of industries,” says Cristiano Paulo de Mattos Leal, regional director of SENAI and superintendent of SESI Minas Gerais. “Bringing the robotic arm to the plant [the 4.0 center] makes total sense precisely because of that; we are bringing a realistic scenario to that challenge which does increase the level of difficulty, but also demonstrates the solution, and the benefit  the robotic arm brings to the productive process."

João Victor Torati, team leader of WorldSkills Minas Gerais, also stresses the importance of the cobot in preparing students for the Olympics:

"In this competitive environment it is very essential, due to the short training period, enabling students to use the newest technologies already used in the industry.”

Preparing a Qualified Workforce

Preparing a Qualified Workforce

This partnership between SESI/SENAI and Universal Robots highlights the importance of collaborative robotics in the modern industry, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers. With the expansion of the 4.0 centers, UR and SENAI are leading the way in spreading advanced technologies and preparing a qualified workforce for the industry of the future.

UR made a difference in some internal challenges and worked alongside our technical support, attending us by phone, coming to the school to help with integration. UR's interface is interesting; it tells you where you must press, for example if you fail to save the point, it points that out, underlines it and makes everything happen in a way that you can solve the problem as quickly as possible

Geraldo César, Robotics Professional, FIEMG - Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais

Automation challenges solved:

  • Cobots elevate the level of professional training for students, contributing to making them more prepared for the reality of the job market;
  • Ease of the interface, which is very interactive and also makes programming simpler and faster;
  • More safety in the classroom so that students can learn alongside the robot.

Key value drivers:

  • Simple and fast learning with one of the fastest-growing industrial technologies in the world;
  • Improvement in student performance at the Worldskills Olympics.

Tasks solved by collaborative robots:

  • Cobots are used in classrooms to help in the professional training of students

Get in touch with Universal Robots

Thousands of businesses rely on Collaborative Robots to...

- Increase productivity
- Adapt to changing product demand
- Improve employee well-being and retention
- Staff through labor shortages

Local Office
  • Universal Robots USA, Inc
  • 27175 Haggerty Road, Suite 160
  • 48377 Novi, MI
Contact us: +1 844-462-6268
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