In summer 2020, Rethink Robotics opened its new company headquarters in Bochum and hired numerous new employees. All of them are specialists in their specific fields and work together on the further development of cobot Sawyer and new products for collaborative robotics. In today's interview, we introduce you to Quoc, who is a mechanical design engineer and tells us about his day-to-day work:
Quoc, which tasks are you responsible for exactly?
As a mechanical design engineer, I am responsible for everything that relates to the mechanics of our products. This also means that I develop new concepts, optimize existing products or maintain our PDM system.
Another large area is product development. For this, I use CAD software to design components and assembly concepts. In principle, I design a physical end product from an idea.
What do you particularly enjoy about it?
I think that I am a very creative person and that I enjoy finding solutions. Since I'm still new, a large part of my current job is to understand the product at hand. In my second week of work, for example, I assembled a cobot directly in order to understand exactly how the individual parts work and to get a feel for the respective components.
For me it is generally very interesting to see how certain products and solutions have been developed. Based on my current knowledge, I might solve certain challenges differently, which in turn can then be transferred to product development and optimization.
What did you do before you joined Rethink Robotics?
First, I studied mechanical engineering in Bochum until I graduated in 2016. After that, I joined a larger corporation with 7,500 employees at the time and was involved in plastic constructions for the automotive industry.
I have always had an interest in automation, so when I was looking for a suitable company and came across Rethink Robotics, I was immediately enthusiastic and was able to move quickly into my new position.
What convinced you about Rethink Robotics and your new role?
My new role is interesting because I am getting to know a completely new industry. With robotics, I am exploring completely new areas and can add my previous experience to the subject.
What convinced me to join Rethink Robotics was the holistic concept. After all, we are a like a startup with the appropriate mentality, a high level of passion for our products as well as a certain level of commitment and strong teams. At the same time, with the HAHN Group, we have a strong "parent company" in the background that supports us in many administrative tasks. Due to the structure of the HAHN Group, we do not have to set up our own HR, marketing or accounting team, but use the experts already available in the company. Behind the HAHN Group is also the RAG Foundation as an investor, which is deeply rooted within the Ruhr area. This gives us the opportunity to concentrate fully on our products, which in turn is a good catalyst for the prevailing working atmosphere.
How would you describe Rethink Robotics to friends and acquaintances?
Rethink Robotics is a very modern employer that gives you a lot of freedom. For example, I immediately received a laptop and there is always the possibility to work from home. Another important point is collegiality. There is a great atmosphere in the team and you feel integrated from day one.
What is the greatest challenge in your area of responsibility?
Here at Rethink Robotics, I'm working on a highly complex product with a large number of components. This is a clear difference to my previous company, where we worked on static systems and complex products consisted of around 30 components. Cobot Sawyer has many of these parts, which are also dynamic. The aim is to understand the overall system of the cobot and to improve it over time. It's quite a challenge, but I also enjoy it a lot.
What do you think are the biggest trends in the industry?
Cobots are clearly a trend that will continue to grow. Even in my personal environment, I have heard from friends that their companies have also informed themselves about the use of cobots. As a Rethink Robotics employee, I can do a bit of “advertising” for the topic by exchanging ideas with friends about possible applications.
Where would you like to see the products that you are currently working on, in the future?
In my opinion, it is very fulfilling that we improve or make other people's lives easier with our work. We are driving technological advances in a certain area, and we are proud to see Sawyer in new areas of application. We are already working on projects that use Sawyer in hospitals and factories to relieve people of strenuous, repetitive or dangerous tasks.