A Summer of Learning, Experience, and Fun for Savioke’s 2017 Interns

2017 Savioke Interns from left to right:  Matthew Cheng, Joshua Li, Ben Cousins, Kelly Allen, Casey Parsay, Natalie Friedman, Rohan Agrawal, Nima Rahnemoon.

2017 Savioke Interns from left to right:  Matthew Cheng, Joshua Li, Ben Cousins, Kelly Allen, Casey Parsay, Natalie Friedman, Rohan Agrawal, Nima Rahnemoon.

Each year Savioke invites a talented and creative group of interns to spend their summer immersed in the world of robotics. Over the course of about 12 weeks, the interns work side by side with the Savioke team to gain valuable work experience in areas of engineering, navigation, business, production, operations and human/robot interaction. And because helping to create world-changing robots isn’t the only cool way to spend time, the interns were also treated to many fun events and outings such as a company-wide hackathon, escape room team building, and a visit to San Francisco to watch the Giants beat the Phillies. As the summer comes to a close, many of the interns provided a brief glimpse into their experience at Savioke and shared ideas for what they’d like to see in a future robot.

Casey Parsay, Finance, Loyola Marymount University

The internship program allowed me to wear many different hats. I worked with sales, marketing, and finance, and even helped build a couple of robots with the production team. The flexibility of the program allowed me to explore various career options. Though I'm still not quite sure what career path I wish to pursue, my time at Savioke has shown me I have interests outside of finance, and the people there gave me great advice on how to pursue them.

Casey’s Robot of the Future: I’d love to see a robot that works in retirement home, one that can change sheets, deliver  food, and cater to every need of the elderly. A robot like that would allow humans to develop personal relationships with it.

Natalie Friedman, Cognitive Science, UC Santa Cruz

During my time at Savioke, I got to experience human-robot interaction in the real world by seeing Relay working with staff and guests at a hotel site. It was powerful. Drawing design implications from these experiences, along with my academic research, brought clarity to the meaning of UX in a robot context. What a fascinating exploration that was!

Natalie’s Robot of the Future: A robot mailbox kiosk that not only labels and boxes your items, but also gift wraps them.

Kelly Allen, Mechanical Engineering, San Diego State University

This summer I was fortunate enough to work for two incredible mechanical engineers (both women) who were a huge inspiration to me. My internship was a totally hands-on experience where I helped the team build robots, study environments, and design solutions. With the support of my mentors, I discovered that engineering involves so much more creativity and critical thinking than I ever learned in the classroom. Now I know that mechanical engineering is exactly the right career for me.  

Kelly’s Robot of the Future: I think an important and life-changing task for a robot would be disease detection. A robot that is able to chemically sense an imbalance and diagnose with either a scan or a prick to the finger would be revolutionary in the medical field. This would help save lives and prevent unnecessary surgeries and medication.

Nima Rahnemoon, Robotic Systems Development, Carnegie Mellon

 Before working at Savioke, I didn't think robots would be able to operate in the real world at scale.  Savioke is doing amazing work pushing that boundary. After my internship, I've become more open-minded about working on applications that involve robotics in the vicinity of humans.

Nima’s Robot of the Future: I believe we're on the verge of a physical version of the Internet. The key enabler for the physical Internet is a cost-efficient method of deploying isolated infrastructure (aka underground). I envision this as being a robot that could automate underground drilling/pipe deployment.  

Matthew Cheng, Engineering, Columbia University

At Savioke, I learned about all the nuances involved in keeping a fleet of robots operational and the value of having pre-existing data. I've seen my observations from the field translate directly to navigation changes, and have seen how the data I've gathered can be used in future iterations of product development.

Matthew’s Robot of the Future: I think it would be incredible to see robots start taking on tasks and completely automate the delivery process, from robots manufacturing goods, robots transporting finished goods to retailers, and then moving those goods from the retailers to the consumers.