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Fort Leonard Wood Unveiled Robotic University

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Lt. Col. David Thompson, Robotic Systems Joint Project Office project manager, and Col. Allan Webster, 1st Engineer Brigade commander, watch as a Talon robot cuts the ribbon at Fort Leonard Wood's Robotics University. (Photos courtesy of Ryan Thompson FLW Public Affairs Office.)

Lt. Col. David Thompson, Robotic Systems Joint Project Office project manager, and Col. Allan Webster, 1st Engineer Brigade commander, watch as a Talon robot cuts the ribbon at Fort Leonard Wood’s Robotics University. (Photos courtesy of Ryan Thompson FLW Public Affairs Office.)

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FORT LEONARD WOOR, Mo. (KMOX) – From humble beginnings, Fort Leonard Wood Missouri officials cut the ribbon on a Robotic University.

The “top Notch” program which trained and certified 1,100 service members in 2011 officially opened its doors and settled in to the 1st Engineer Brigade and the Robotic Systems Project Office (RSJPO) Tuesday.

Director of the Robotics systems joint project office, Dewey Resch, says in 2007 he was asked if he’d like to develop the first-ever robot training program.

“It kind of sounded fun, its robots,” said Resch the then retired army combat engineer.

robotics university2 Fort Leonard Wood Unveiled Robotic University

Surrounded by a fleet of robots, Col. Allan Webster, 1st Engineer Brigade commander, speaks about the significance of Fort Leonard Wood's Robotics University during its ribbon cutting ceremony today. (Photos courtesy of Ryan Thompson FLW Public Affairs Office.)

Resch says now all Army engineers, and some Marines deploying are trained on robots at Fort Wood’s 5,000 sq. foot building.

Resch says the robots range in size from two pounds to six tons, but are not designed to replace soldiers… just save their lives. “To this day we have had 780 robots blown up. So that is 780 lives that have been directly saved.”

Leaning how to use the robots are generally easy too. Resch says “The majority of the robots use Xbox or Playstation like controllers to operate.”

The establishment of the Robotic University at Fort Leonard Wood will assist in meeting increased demands for training and maintaining robotic systems.

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