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USC opens new digital research lab

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The University of South Carolina opened a new 15,000-square-foot Digital Transformation Lab today. The research facility, part of the university’s Innovista research district, displays industrial and consumer applications of everything from autonomous drones to smart home appliances.

USC also announced the expansion of several corporate partnerships, including an agreement with IBM for a new Industrial Internet of Things Research Lab.

“These research partnerships and the new lab are the culmination of years of innovative work by our faculty researchers and the USC Office of Economic Engagement,” USC president Harris Pastides said in a news release. “Through corporate partnerships, our researchers can bring added value to industrial applications while students work alongside faculty to gain critical exposure to leading-edge technologies that make them more employable.”

The Internet of Things research lab, to be located in the McNair Aerospace Research Center, will use cloud-based data to develop learning, teaching and research projects employing advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.

Other partnerships announced include:

  • USC is working with Samsung as part of the Palmetto Consortium for Home Appliance Innovation, a project connecting and expanding the capabilities of smart home appliances. The Digital Transformation Lab will serve as a host site for new appliances under development.
  • Siemens technology will be used throughout the lab, including in robotic simulations and predictive maintenance projects.
  • Robotics company Yaskawa will work with USC researchers to apply AI and machine learning to advanced manufacturing processes.

“By creating new research partnerships and building on existing ones, we can infuse even more corporate investment into the Midlands and the state,” said Bill Kirkland, director of USC’s Office of Economic Engagement. “The students who work on these research projects, whether they are computer scientists, engineers or designers, are well-positioned to find the kind of rewarding, high-paying jobs that contribute so much to the state.”

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