New Frontiers provides Students with learning Opportunity

Advanced technology used in the construction of Oklahoma State University’s New Frontiers Agricultural Hall creates a unique hands-on learning experience for students.

Nine students from the OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee recently had the opportunity to tour the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall construction site to learn about some of the technology, including the Hilti JAIBOT, used in building the new home for OSU Agriculture.

The Hilti JAIBOT is a semi-automated anchor/hanger point layout and drilling robot and is the first of its kind to be used in Oklahoma, said Danny Hancock, project manager of Platinum Mechanical and a 1993 graduate of OSU-IT. The robot arrived at the New Frontiers construction site in November and will be used on the site for about three months.

“This technology utilizes the project’s model created in Building Information Modeling or BIM to more accurately lay out the anchor points, which are areas where anchors will be located to hold piping or duct systems,” Hancock said.

Using digital plans to accurately mark and drill holes, the Hilti JAIBOT helps remove potential risks that come with overhead installation. With the ability to operate the robot on the ground, away from the drilling, fall hazards or risk of exposure to concrete silicate are reduced, making construction safer for the workers.

With the advancement of this technology and the excitement of the JAIBOT being used, it’s important for students to have the opportunity to take what they have learned in the classroom and see it applied on-site, Hancock said.

“It’s critical for students to connect actual installation with their classroom training, so they can see the byproduct of what they were taught,” he said. “Physically seeing something done has a better chance of making an impression that they will likely never forget.”

Zane Moneypenny, a construction management student at OSU-IT who participated in the tour, said watching this type of technology on a construction site and seeing what all goes into it is amazing.

“It was a big eye-opener,” Moneypenny said. “Being able to take what we have learned in the classroom and see first-hand the technology used in the field is a huge benefit, especially on a project like this one.”

The site visit is one example of how the New Frontiers construction project provides hands-on learning for students. In January, a group of construction management students from OSU-Stillwater will tour the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall construction site and watch the Hilti JAIBOT in action. 

The New Frontiers campaign was launched in January 2020 to build a new state-of-the-art facility for OSU Agriculture. The New Frontiers Agricultural Hall, expected to open in fall 2024, further advances teaching, research and Extension efforts that are critical to the state’s economy, citizens’ safety and quality of life. By advancing OSU Agriculture and its programs, New Frontiers is fostering innovation to help feed the world.

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