We chatted with CoLab student Anna Segal Grinberg (Winter 2021 CoLab cohort) about the path that lead her to expanding her skills in robotics during a pandemic, while participating remotely, and caring for her young children at home at the same time.

What attracted you to the Robotics CoLab program?

Due to the pandemic, after working 10 years in Robotics companies in QA roles, I had to leave my current position and to focus on my family. I was looking into how to further enhance my skills since I will be probably returning back to the workplace after the end of the pandemic and then a friend referred me to the Colab program.

What do you like the most about CoLab?

Starting from the first meeting I was pleasantly surprised to see how the Colab program is completely different from any online/ on site courses. It is organized as a project with supportive staff while utilizing industry standards for documentation and project management. I started the program from learning how to work with software/ hardware integration and being familiar with every aspect of robotics by actually trying to operate the robot by myself remotely.

What has been the most interesting thing you have learned at CoLab?

I have learned so many new software skills that I could not have learned by working in robotics companies for 10 years because other engineering teams were usually assigned to these tasks without me being exposed to their expertise. I was also made comfortable to troubleshoot the robotics system when it was not working as specified and was encouraged to learn new things.

How is CoLab different to other learning experiences for you?

Unlike other online courses we had regular team meetings to discuss progress, assign tasks and could reach out to team members and staff for help. I learned how to work with Python libraries, how to use ROS, computer vision, work with Github as a developer and many other robotics concepts. We also created a very interesting Robotics application as our final Colab goal which contributed to my interest in the program.

What is the experience of learning robotics virtually like?

Since I have been an online member I have done everything from home with connecting to the robot remotely and seeing it move from cameras on site. I was able to go through the program while caring for a baby and my daughter. I feel like the concept of learning by actually working on the robot is priceless and can help me advance my career.

What is next for you?

I am probably going to be looking for system engineering jobs since I gained new skills and I am now comfortable with using them.

I really recommend this program in any career stage, or even if you are still a student. This program can help you gain skills which are very valuable today.

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