YuMi robot working alongside Sheridan engineering students


YuMi, the first robot at the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) gives Sheridan’s engineering students the opportunity to safely work up close with a robot.


Farzad Rayegani, Associate Dean of School of Engineering, hangs out with YuMi, Sheridan College CAMDT’s new robot. (Photography by Elise Morton/ Sheridan Sun)

Created by ABB, YuMi, which means You and Me in Japanese, has features that remove the barriers of cages and distance needed to provide a safe environment for people who work with robots.

YuMi has flexible, padded arms, built-in force sensors, grippers, and a vision camera and built-in sensors, which helps keep workers safe.

“In case somebody does accidentally touch YuMi or its arms, the robots built-in sensors will detect the person and slow it down,” said Srinivas Ganapathyraju, coordinator of the Electromechanical Engineering program. “Depending on the amount of force it can also completely stop so it doesn’t cause any damage or harm the human operators who are working nearby.”

The robot can also do multiple tasks and complete complex assembly work, like putting small screws or parts together.

“Industrial robots don’t have a sense of space and are usually unsafe so you have to take steps and precautions to protect the worker,” said Farzad Rayegani, director CAMDT and associate dean of the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology.

“The new wave of collaborative robots have all the safety features and they are built up in such a way that you can consider it as a co-worker in the workplace.”


YuMi will be introduced into the Engineering program’s curriculum to teach students the innovative ways of doing things, prepare them for the changing workplace and the jobs available in the future.

Right now, YuMi will only be used in the Electro Mechanical Engineering program, but it will also help students with capstones, which are final student research projects and industry specific projects.

“We’re currently redesigning our program map to include a new course in robotics called robotic applications, which is a very hands on program,” said Ganapathyraju.

The program’s most recent changes have already been approved and the students will take the new robotics course in the upcoming spring semester.

“It will be used by students to basically create a small project where the YuMi is used for picking and placing and assembling components,” said Ganapathyraju.

“They will learn how to program it and how it’s integrated into an overall production system.”

According to Rayegani in 2012, Sheridan College was the first institution in Canada to invest millions of dollars to adopt 3D printing at a school level.

Sheridan CAMDT’s collaboration and partnership with ABB Robotics Canada lead the college to be the first post-secondary institution in the country to have a YuMi.

“You always want to be a leader in education so from the Sheridan perspective to be leading this initiative and collaborative robot education is what we are looking for our students,” said Rayegani.

“From the educational and industrial perspective we are one of the best centre of robotics in Canada and to have the YuMi is good for ABB, Sheridan CAMDTdcc and our students.”

As a part of CAMDT’s partnership with ABB Robotics, the college has a lab called the CAMDT-ABB Robotics Centre, which has 18 industrial robots and a YuMi as of December.

According to Rayegani, another YuMi will be coming to Sheridan’s CAMDT soon.