Meet Dina, our Robotics Engineer!
Learn about Dina's work at Sevensense!
Dina joined Sevensense in August 2019 after she completed her PhD in Robotics at the University of Girona in Spain. She brings the perfect mix of robotics expertise from her PhD research on Motion Planning and corporate best practices from a large IT company to Sevensense. She is a valued engineer and the lead of the Planning & Control Team, where she takes care of one of the most challenging tasks at Sevensense: ensuring that our robots can move and avoid obstacles!
Dina, what exactly do you help a robot with?
As a partner in shaping the future of autonomy through our navigation technology, I focus on helping the robot find its way in a given set-up, such as airports or warehouses. In technical terms that is called 'motion planning'. The purpose of it is to make the robot not only find whatever way, but also helpt it achieve specific tasks given by the setup. This can include a variety of questions that need to be taken into account while looking for the best path to be followed by the robot: 'Do we need to find the shortest path between two points? Should the robot cover a maximum area while moving?’. Still the most important goal that we can’t compromise is to find a safe path away from people and other possibly blocking objects in the setting.
What does your day at Sevensense look like?
As a morning person, I like to start my working day around 8:00 am to take advantage of the day and the best of my brain energy. As a team we have the daily practice of the quick 10 mins update meeting. It helps a lot in putting the day into perspective and deciding on what the focus of the day will be. Then you go through the day more easily depending on the current priority (more development and testing, or brainstorming…). Another thing I love about the work organization, is having specific days per week dedicated to routine meetings for sharing updates and planning new tasks; then your brain is somehow prepared for those days, and the meeting-free days turn out to be more productive for the technical work.
What’s your favorite time of your work day?
One thing I definitely do like about my day here, is the brainstorming and discussions that always bring new viewpoints to any problem or question we’re trying to figure out. Besides of course the small breaks and shared coffee where we exchange thoughts but also share personal aspects which adds little energy boosts during the day.
"I perceive Sevensense as the place where the past and the future meet: An opportunity to put my previously gained knowledge into action and at the same time help forming the future of autonomy"
You have a strong background both in Academia and Corporate: How do you relate those experiences to the Sevensense life?
I perceive Sevensense as the place where the past and the future meet: An opportunity to put my previously gained knowledge in action on a daily basis and at the same time an experience to help forming the future of autonomy. Additionally, the challenges that come with creating a robust product from a cutting-edge technology, question my expertise and push me beyond to learn how to shape my skills and cope with the resulting demands. I would say that my combined background helps perceiving a given challenge from both perspectives: the academic and research-based side that tends to empower creativity and innovative solutions; but also the feet-on-the-ground corporate perspective that chooses to be realistic and result-oriented focusing on building a robust long sustainable product
You work on state-of-the-art algorithms. How do you keep up to date?
Luckily we are working on bringing a technology freshly emerging from groundbreaking research to a reliable product state. For that, being equipped with state of the art algorithms is vital to keep the pace and advance with our technology. Besides the typical way of staying up-to-date by reading the latest papers in the domain, which is definitely a key, Sevensense provides me with an even better tool: Involving me hands-on in current research by working with amazing, smart master students who aim at researching the latest in the domain and even going beyond - all while focusing on developing solutions that fit our navigation technology.
In what situation did you feel the most indispensable for Sevensense?
I believe the key in succeeding as a company is by adopting a wider perspective - and that can only be built by diversity inclusion. As an African woman, emerging from a different background, education system and as a person who has undertaken a combined career path of academia and industry, I feel like I can help to introduce another point of view. In my opinion that’s what makes me indispensable for Sevensense. This is not based on a specific situation but part of a long term process in acquiring a broader view and thus contributing to the company’s success.
"If you have the good soil, then planting the right seed will lead to promising fruits. And that's what Sevensense is: A good soil."
Describe Sevensense in 4 words!
Young, dynamic, promising, transparent.
Sevensense is empowered by a group of young and super active talented people who want to take part in converting research technology into reality. For sure dynamism comes along with the young spirit but also as a consequence of being a start-up where you have to adapt to highly paced changes. For sure if you have the good soil then planting the right seed will lead to promising fruits , and that’s what Sevensense is, “a good soil” once sowed with the right and good seed, it will bring good to everyone within - and hopefully goes beyond - the society. Transparent leadership is a key, not only to give an example to young emerging leaders but also to pave the way for shaping a common clear end goal on which everyone’s eyes are fixed on.
You grew up in Egypt, lived in Spain and now you landed in Switzerland. What happened to your food standards?
I have to admit this one of the funniest things I have faced since I landed in Europe, but also it has a deeper reflection on my perspective. I won’t say that my 7 years journey in Europe had altered my taste buds (no I still enjoy a lot and miss the Egyptian cuisine especially the street food) but I learnt to experiment different other cuisines and enjoy whatever a country cuisine offers you...food is always an enjoyable gift, so if you don’t have control over what can be offered, go ahead and learn to enjoy it and appreciate it.
I would say that this concept also applies to the culture in general, being pushed beyond your comfort zone is what helps your mind to become wide open, accepting differences but even beyond , appreciating and meditating on the uniqueness of each individual. At the bottom we are all different and unique in some way and the key to co-existing and excelling as one unit is by holding dear this fact and pondering on it every day.
Thanks Dina for sharing your story! If you are interested in joining her at Sevensense, check out our Job offers.