Walmart grant supports UT Arlington’s manufacturing research August 14, 2014
The University of Texas at Arlington is one of seven research and development institutions nationwide to receive part of $4 million in grants from the Walmart Foundation to advance the production or assembly of consumer products in the United States.
UT Arlington has received a $229,214 Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Grant to build a robotic small motors assembly and testing system that would cut the manufacturing costs of goods and allow those goods to be built in the U.S. rather than overseas.
Aditya Das, senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, will lead the project.
The grants are made possible through the collaboration between Walmart, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Walmart Foundation.
“This significant collaboration will bridge the gap between the capabilities of robotic automation and the cost-prohibitive nature of most automation processes,” said UT Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck endorsed UT Arlington’s full proposal for the grant.
“The city of Arlington collaborates with the University of Texas at Arlington on a wide range of programs, and we’re looking forward to expanding the reach and scope of those programs to help our region continue to be a beneficial environment for industry,” Cluck said. “Arlington is a city that offers a particularly positive climate for business, and one of our largest areas of focus is manufacturing. It is our commitment to establishing and furthering these types of partnerships that makes Arlington one of the best places to do business.”
Das said the institute has been conducting pioneering research in automated product miniaturization and system integration for more than a decade.
He said the small robotic motors can be found in toys, small appliances, electric shavers, hair dryers, electronic devices and other consumer goods.
Walmart’s Innovation Fund will provide a total of $10 million in grants over the next five years.
In January 2013, Walmart announced the retailer would buy an additional $250 billion in products supporting American manufacturing and American jobs by 2023.