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UT-Army Robotics Lab unveils construction site

UT Austin is converting the 88-year-old Anna Hiss Gymnasium into a state-of-the-art robotics research center.

AUSTIN, Texas — An empty space in the Anna Hiss Gymnasium on The University of Texas campus will soon be a robotics research lab. 

"University of Texas here has created a space in this historic building and this gym where the faculty that are doing robotics, no matter what department can come together and work together," said Mitch Prior, Director of Robotics Center of Excellence.

The big space has a lot of natural light, big windows and it's a 55,240 square-foot facility.

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"Where our students can interact no matter what they're doing research in their department," said Prior. "Therefore, work together to make UT one of the best robotic research facilities in the world."

When the U.S. Army Futures Command found out UT was building this lab, they decided to help pay for it.

"They saw a real opportunity for us to help support the Army Futures Command, which had already come to Austin," said Prior. 

The Futures Command is dedicated to modernizing the military and something like this plays into their goals. With the extra money, UT expects the lab to be finished by 2020.

"Our ability to respond to that in an undergraduate and graduate level and then get that to deliver research to people who need it, such as the Department of Defense, is really just all the pieces coming together," said Prior.

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