Mojin Robotics: Since 2019
Mojin Robotics is a spin-off company from the Fraunhofer IPA institute and is building applications for the Care-o-bot 4 platform of modular robots, based on ROS
Since January 2019, I've been working for Mojin Robotics in a largely remote setting, occasionally traveling to the offices in Stuttgart. My job there also involves robot applications. In a sense, this job has allowed me to professionally what I used to do as a hobby only. This entails proper testing, monitoring and actually running applications unattended with real people. The most exciting application of our robots is called Paul: a customer assistant in several MediaMarkt and Saturn electronics stores in Germany and Switzerland.
My work at Mojin Robotics
- Event logging system for the application state machines in the robot, so that we can track how often and when the robot greets people, what requests users make to the robot and at what location etc.
- Quiz the robot could offer and host for users it encountered.
- Automated testing for state-machine.
I've made a small framework called
scenario_test_toolsto write ROS actions and services in to check on a behavior and to guide the application into eg. some edge case
Nobleo Technology (2015-2019)
Nobleo is a consultancy and projects company based in Eindhoven.
My work at Nobleo Technology
- Mobile robot to clean large chemical tanks
- Camera system to estimate the 3D position of a fixed, offshore structure from the side of a moving ship
- RanMarine WasteShark: the WasteShark is a small autonomous catamaran boat that collects waste from eg. harbors etc. It can dock into a lift system that pulls the boat out of the water to dump the collected waste. Underlying technology: EtherCAT using SOEM, ROS, C
- For Nobleo, I've been forwarded to Ultimaker where I created the production tooling to label Ultimaker material spools with NFC tags. Once that was done I joined the firmware team for a while after which I was part of the team to develop the touchscreen UI for the Ultimaker S5. This user interface, developed in Qt.Quick, won the 2019 iF Design Award.
- My first posting at Nobleo was to LDI Systems B.V. a TNO spin-off, which was developing a machine for Light Direct Imaging (LDI). This is a technology for maskless lithography which we purposed for PCB etching. Instead of using a mask, we were developing a machine to to this digitally.
My role at LDI Systems was that of the integrator, making sure the components created by the software, electronics and hardware teams aligned and would work together when we needed them in the development.
A major part of this was to commission and set up a process for a tool for gluing little lenses used to focus laser beams onto a very small volume, of about 25x25x25 microns. After gluing, the laser rays were aimed through an 8-sided prism rotating a several thousand RPM to project a line, while the lasers pulsed at nanosecond durations to create (a small part of) the pattern of the PCB.
Robot Rose: 2014-2015
Robot Rose was a small robotics company aiming to create a shared-autonomy robot to care for elderly and disabled people. It was partly tele-operated and could perform some basic functions autonomously, such as navigation and grasping. I've been part of many tests with potential users of the robot, sometimes operating the robot via the internet from the other side of the country. We've tried tasks of all sorts, from putting on someone's hat and opening a door to wiping tables clean. Unfortunately, the technology and health care sector were not ready for this and I think both are slowly advancing to make what Rose tried more feasible.
Sioux was my very first real job out of university, though I only worked there very briefly. I developed an Android+iOS app (for trip registration) which was I was not very fond of. We set this up in Xamarin to be cross-platform, so we could share some 75% of the code between platforms due to the right abstractions.
During my studies, I had a side job at WWA, which was my very first robotics job. I learned a ton there!
I had never programmed C# not an (ABB) industrial robot before.
With just the programming language manual under
F1 I figured out how to set up TCP/IP communication to a vision system so I could implement my internship project concerning bin-picking (before that was a reasonably solved problem).
I also worked on what was in retrospect a custom robotics middleware akin to what I'd use ROS for nowadays.