It was a record-breaking fall for Clearpath Robotics; we’ve never had as many coop students as we did this term – we welcomed 11 students from colleges and universities across Canada and this ready-to-go group did not disappoint! Whether it was detailing existing processes or blazing the trail for new custom projects, each student was able to contribute in a unique and exciting way. Here’s a snapshot of their experience.
Lessons from the real-world
Matt, a University of Waterloo (UW) student, held an 8 month Sales and Marketing coop position at Clearpath; “I learned a lot this term about the sales cycle, especially within the area of major industry size sales. I was able to streamline the use of Clearpath’s CRM system, qualify major leads and develop videos for the use of media and product demonstrations.”
Also hailing from UW is Accounting and Financial Management student Dhruvi. She came onboard in September as Clearpath’s Financial Analyst Coop to help with month-end procedures including journal entries, financial statements, sales orders and commissions, asset tracking and more. “Clearpath helped me enhance my accounting and finance knowledge. I realized that what you learn in school is vastly different from the real world, so – as a coop student – I was able to see the bigger picture once I started doing actual hands-on work,” explained Dhruvi.
All the way from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Shokoofeh and Manni travelled across the country to work at Clearpath for their coop term. As Mobile Robot Autonomy Engineers, they learned a variety of engineering and scientific concepts and gained expertise in software programs spanning ROS, Gazebo and RVis. Shokoofeh explained, “I’ve had a chance to work with different platforms, software, and sensors during my coop term. I learned how to model a robot in Gazebo that can be used to simulate sensor feedbacks and robot interaction with different environments. I now also understand the basics of working with the robots’ firmware and how to equip a robot to operate with some levels of autonomy.”
An experience to be proud of!
Here at Clearpath, we’re always excited to give students an opportunity to get their hands dirty, try something new, and learn lots in the process. The results tend to be pretty awesome and students are proud of what they accomplished in a short amount of time.
Allyson and Jakub are Mechatronic Engineering students at UW. This term, Allyson filled the role of Hardware Engineer while Jakub was our Mobile Robotics Software Developer. Allyson explained, “I took the lead in redesigning the cabling system on one of our robots, so that the cables became retractable and compact. Pitching this concept to the client and having them praise the design concept was a great feeling!” Allyson also helped us out by being a spokesperson for Clearpath on Space TV’s Innerspace; she spoke about how cool our bots are and how fun it is to make them!
Meanwhile, Jakub lived in ROS, CAN, C++ and Python. He discovered that he can generate CAN-ROS drivers with relative ease; “Being able to do this means that I can reduce development times of larger drivers from days to a matter of seconds. I was also able to generate the first working set of radar drivers that have ever crossed the door at Clearpath within seconds, there was obviously some tweaking required in order to reduce redundancy and remove unneeded functionality but seeing these drivers essentially develop themselves really was awesome.” Yep, we think that’s pretty awesome too!
Shokoofeh was able to submit her first contribution to the ROS community – we don’t have to tell you how excited we are for her to have accomplished this one! “I am really proud of contributing to the autonomy core of Clearpath’s newest and coolest robot, Jackal!” she explained.
As for Manni, “The moment I found out that my major software contribution to the project was successfully deployed to the robot and worked without any issue was definitely my proudest accomplishment at Clearpath!”
Final thoughts on Clearpath
Our coop team members seemed to agree: Clearpath is a great company to learn, grow and have fun! But what is it that makes our space so special? Is it the team dynamics? Eagerness to constantly learn? Matt suggests it’s the culture and the fact that everyone works together to help one and other, “it makes it a lot easier to come to work when you like the people that you work with.”
As for Dhruvi, “I felt appreciated and I felt like I was truly contributing to something big.” Allyson explained that nothing ever seemed to stagnate at Clearpath; “the growth of projects, knowledge, and people is exponential! It was definitely not a typical 9-5 job. Everyone who works at Clearpath clearly wants to be here and it shows.” Jakub explained that in previous coop terms, he didn’t receive feedback with regard to how he can improve; “This isn’t the case at Clearpath,” said Jakub, “I’ve been exposed to both my strengths and weaknesses which will help me become a better developer and roboticist.”
The term flew by and we’re now ready to bring on a new group of fantastic coop students! If you’re looking into Clearpath for your future coop term, be sure to check out coop positions here!
Learn what the 2013 Fall Coop Term got up to
Gaining real-world experience in 2013