Young Talents at OnRobot Budapest Research and Development

Thinking out of the box and bringing in new viewpoints of creative young people is vitally important for an innovative company like OnRobot. Which is why OnRobot is actively seeking out young professionals to give them real-life experience and learn from them as well.

OnRobot is a Danish-owned company developing end-of-arm tools, complete robotic applications, and SW systems for automation, mainly in collaborative and light industrial domains.

Automation, using robotic arms and end-of-arm tools, is rapidly gaining space in all industries. To keep pace with the increasing needs and to enable automation in more complex applications requires constant renewal and development of intelligent, easy-to-use HW and SW tools. 

Imre Szoboszlai, Head of R&D, OnRobot, Hungary:

“Giving the possibility to students of all ages is a win-win situation. Young talents interested in robotics & automation and wanting to gain competence and experience in the industry environment, are always welcome in our department.

Based on our experience, they very quickly started contributing to our development activities. We can build on their creativity and hunger for work and innovation. This engagement can often turn into full-time employment during or after graduation, which means no extended learning curve, instead of getting a new colleague and integrating them into our teams.”

Nitin Jaladanki, a Rising Junior at Basis Independent Silicon Valley from San Jose, California, USA, did a summer internship at OnRobot, Budapest. 

“As a high schooler, I have always been interested in robotics solving real-world problems and was looking forward to doing this internship at OnRobot, Hungary.

This internship offered a simple but engaging view of the operations that took place within the office. Working closely with the design teams in Budapest helped me understand the mechanical arm tooling design and associated programming and integration aspects. Even with the short amount of time I had on this internship, the OnRobot team diligently ensured that I learned every part of their craft and demoed every robot in their lab, enabling me to work on all of them at the end of my internship. My mentor, Ms. Lizzeth, and other team members made my experience at OnRobot something to cherish.

Ms. Lizzeth was instrumental in my success and enabled me to gain knowledge during this internship. Rather than treating me just as a high-school intern, she challenged me by placing me into the setting of an OnRobot employee. Through a hands-on documentation project that enabled me to understand the functions of various robots, I was also able to streamline OnRobot’s customer documentation.

With a mix of programming and hands-on labs, Ms. Lizzeth ensured that I had a challenging but learning experience while interning at OnRobot.

Nitin and Lizzeth Sanchez programming a Universal Robots application together 

Alongside studying concepts from textbooks at school, I was very interested in exploring the applications that lie at the intersection of technology and real-world problems to understand the influence of technology in everyday life. This internship at OnRobot enabled me to do so.

OnRobot is a global company offering a full line of innovative plug-and-produce solutions for collaborative robot applications, with tooling becoming the most vital element in adapting to a wide range of applications. Some tooling offerings in electric grippers, force/torque sensors, tool changers, vacuum grippers provide easy automation in applications like material handling, machine tending, surface finishing, and assembly. 

Working closely with the OnRobot design and integration teams in Budapest helped me gain a thorough understanding of the mechanical arm tooling design, various aspects of programming for plug-and-produce end-of-arm tooling (EoAT) for collaborative robotic application, and the ability of arms in performing a versatility of operations mimicking that of a human limb.” – says Nitin Jaladanki, Summer 2021 Intern, OnRobot, Hungary.

Zsófia Mándoki, a mechanical engineer student at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, started as a part-time employee in 2020 February. Zsófia says:

“During my studies, I became interested in programming, and I wanted to get to know an area where I could use my knowledge gained at the university and become more immersed in programming. That was the moment when robotics and OnRobot entered my life.

When I started, I immediately got a mentor who helped me get to know the world of robotics and the company’s life. The first project I worked on was the development of the OnRobot Sander. We also designed an automatic grit changer for this tool and developed a robot application for it. It worked so well that we patented it, and two of my colleagues and I became its inventors. 

My following task was to develop an algorithm that automatically calculates the coordinates of our devices in the robot’s coordinate system. After finishing the algorithm, I had the opportunity to coordinate the development of the application based on it. It was like a more straightforward project management task, in which I was glad to have tried myself.

Finally, I had the opportunity to write my thesis on a corporate topic, which is developing an optimization algorithm for one of our future products.”

Erik Verebély, a second-year university student, studied Robotics Engineering in London, aimed for his Master of Engineering.

“My career goal has been to work in automation since the beginning and working at OnRobot has just solidified my initial plan.

My mentor(s) have helped immensely by providing me with the necessary technical knowledge and facilitating my growth as a colleague.

Throughout my time at OnRobot, I have gained insight into different software and general development practices, completing intricate tasks as efficiently as possible. I also learned to work with varying robots with unique uses and applications in different environments. I have seen the real-life applications of what I have learned throughout my time at university.”- says Erik Verebély, Intern, OnRobot, Hungary.

All these three young engineers made a meaningful impact during their time at OnRobot. After returning to their studies or taking an internship abroad, they all plan to find a career in robotics fields in companies like OnRobot.

Zsófia, on successfully finishing her thesis at the company, is going to study in the Netherlands for half a year, after which she would like to return to a full-time position at OnRobot in Budapest. 

Zsófia comments:

“My time at OnRobot confirmed that I want to pursue a career in programming. However, I also really liked the world of robotics and automation, so I would like to work in this field soon.

My mentor, András Deierl, Development Area Manager of SW, helped me during my stay here. He always perfectly recognized what tasks would be suitable for me to enjoy my job.

Furthermore, he gave much support professionally and personally, and this is true for all other company employees; fortunately, I can be part of an outstanding community here.

Working at OnRobot was my first job, which in my opinion, can be a defining experience for a person. Over the last 1.5 years, my professional knowledge and my personality have improved a lot. I learned how to work alone and, in a team, how to manage my time. I was able to try myself in many things that brought me closer to the goal of finding the ideal job in the future.”

Concluding her thoughts and looking into the future, Zsófia added:

“Automation and robotics already play a huge role in our world. And it will boom even more with the ongoing 4th Industrial Revolution. The economy and the society will also transform due to the rapid development.

It will cause job displacement, changing skill needs, disruptions to local economies, but on the other hand, it will create new jobs, improved living standards, and economic growth. In my opinion, we should not stifle innovation because it may be disruptive. We should instead embrace it and craft responsive and effective policies to address the challenges.”

According to Erik:

“My internship went very well, and I have gained technical knowledge and work experience, which I could not have gotten in most other places. After completing my studies, I plan to apply what I have learned here and apply it in my jobs.

As I said, I chose to go into robotics due to the stable and sustainable growth experienced by the field in practically all its history. The impact of specialization allowed man to go from subsistence farmers to skilled artisans; with automation being the next step, more people would be freed up to pursue the sciences and arts to advance humanity.”

Nitin had an even more profound impact despite the shorter engagement and younger age, increasing his obsession with robotics. Nitin Comments:

“While studying at The American International School of Budapest, I competed amongst 17 international middle school teams at the Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) in Albania for robotics and won an award for the “Best Mechanical Engineering Design.” I gained confidence with my diligence in robotics, and it makes me think about advanced applications using robotics.

I was selected to the Quarter Zero’s (QØ) Catapult Incubator in the summer of 2020. QØ’s Catapult Incubator develops the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs by running a start-up incubator for a very selective set of high school students, providing participants with an unprecedented, immersive entrepreneurial experience where students refine and iterate on their venture ideas. At the incubator, I formed the venture COM3T Drones, which aims to revolutionize the drone education market by shifting the focus of educational materials in the space to high schoolers. At the culmination of the program, my venture won the QØ Demo Day 2020 Award for “Most Investible,” in addition to $1000 of seed funding from 1517 Fund. This opportunity further helped me understand the entrepreneurial aspects of forming and running a business.

My motivation to learn, innovative mindset, and unacceptance of the status quo are characteristics that shaped me into the person I am today. Some of these opportunities, accomplishments from the past, and the additional learnings during this internship at OnRobot pique my interest in further understanding and pursuing research in robotics and forming a start-up in the future that uses these technologies to build innovative products to address real-world problems.

I genuinely believe that experimenting with robotics and electronics helps develop problem-solving skills and creativity while introducing me to complex subjects like programming and engineering. For example, working closely with the OnRobot teams in Budapest on a full line of innovative plug-and-produce solutions for collaborative robot applications helped me understand the mechanical arm tooling design, programming, and its ability to perform a versatility of operations.

I want to explore synergies between research and technology areas to generate innovative solutions. Upon completing this internship and returning to the USA, I will participate in the 2021 Summer Workshop at MIT Beaver Works Institute – a rigorous, world-class STEM program for a selective set of high schoolers. Applying basic concepts in hydrodynamics, vehicle control, and image recognition, I plan on building a custom underwater vehicle and program it to navigate an obstacle course autonomously as part of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Challenge.

As part of a self-research project, I am researching an experimental implant that wires the human brain to a computer, potentially gaining control over artificial limbs and such bionic marvels. While I gain further understanding of bionic limbs and robotics, I realize that these technologies have a rapid potential, which is increasingly finding their way to human bodies.

Currently, my thoughts are in the field of bionic limb technology and the use of robotics. My exposure to robotics has instilled in me a fascination to address a more prominent social cause, the challenge some parents face in raising a physically challenged child. I see robotics as a path to realize my goal of “every child deserves to be independent” and help the less fortunate take their first steps using bionic limb technology. I continue to be inspired in addressing some of these real-world problems by innovating an alternate world of real human organs using the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, sensors, and robotics. 

This internship at OnRobot has given me a first-hand opportunity to understand the technologies behind mimicking various operations performed by a human limb. I genuinely believe that this internship at OnRobot will help me further explore my interest in applying technologies like sensors, robotics and extending this to the areas of bionic limbs.”

In his closing words, Nitin envisions significant improvement and impact on human society in the future, thanks to automation:

“The intersection of IoT (Internet of Things), Robotics, and AI will enable several novel applications and help improve the quality of human life. Areas like supply chain improvements, autonomous driving, intelligent factories stand to benefit further from new developments in robotics.

The impact that automation has already had on human life and technology is significant. With disruptive innovation in robotics and AI, most jobs will be streamlined, with human capital shifting towards performing more quality jobs and mundane, repetitive jobs being taken over by robots.”

As Lizzeth Sanchez, Development Area Manager of Robot Integration, concluded: 

“The above good examples just strengthened our strategy to continue with student positions in the future too. We are glad to meet these young talents and hoping to see them in our teams again soon. The minimum that we achieved is that they spread how interesting and exciting robotics is and help us build a better future.”

Open student positions along with full-time career opportunities at OnRobot are constantly published at the company career site: Career | OnRobot

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