MEET THE ENGINEER
This month, we’re taking you behind the scenes with Andrew Davison, our director of software engineering. Andrew joined RE2 in 2010 as a senior software engineer and now leads the engineers who help to bring our robots to life!
What are you currently working on at RE2?
Today, I'm working on automating the configuration of our manipulators to ensure consistency and ease of development and production. Soon, I'll be working on a new Operator Control Unit (OCU) to control one of our manipulators currently in development.
How and why did you first become interested in robotics?
I've always loved technology and computers. Specifically for robotics though, it was when I started building Legos with motors. It was fascinating and fun!
What is a typical day for you like at RE2?
A typical day varies. Some days, when the team is starting the design of a new system, I spend a lot of time in discussions at a whiteboard. Other days are heads-down, coding and implementing the team's design, or working with others to review the implementation to ensure it matches our standards and the design. Some weeks are spent doing research or integration in the lab, where I get to see the fruits of our labor when a robot arm comes to life. I love the varied nature of every day. This also ensures I'm always learning, which I adore.
What do you enjoy the most about working in robotics?
The breadth of exposure and experience. I learn every single day. Some days it is from a mechanical engineer about why the drivetrain in our manipulator is designed as it is. Other days it’s from an electrical engineer--why and how do you ensure the board powers on in the correct sequence? Every person at RE2 contributes to our success, and due to that, everyone learns something they didn't know from someone they may not have expected.
In terms of the industry at large, what excites you the most about the future of robotics?
I'm most excited about the future of robotics in the fact that our robots are not just used to automate something a person may do now, but also remove the need for a human to do something that is life-threatening. We're saving lives with our technology.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In the summer, hiking, swimming and rock climbing. In the winter, skiing as much as possible. I also enjoy building, so finding me working on the house over the weekends is not unusual.
Learn more about Andrew on our his Leadership team bio page.