My department develops AI and robotics products, and I'm a part of the Actuator and Device Control Section. The most recent product of my department is the autonomous entertainment robot "aibo". aibo is a robot dog that has twenty-two actuators from its mouth to its tail. Besides walking, aibo can wag its tail, tilt its neck, and do much more. All of these endearing mannerisms are controlled by actuators. What’s more, aibo learns about its relationship with owners using AI technology.
At my university, I specialized in aircraft design and flight dynamics, but I was also quite interested in robotics. Keeping this in mind I decided to participate in the on-campus recruitment* event at my University in India. I talked with Sony engineers, and they shared their thoughts about this company and the future of robotics. I was excited to hear about the aibo robots and future robotics business ideas and innovative technology. I decided that joining Sony would give me a chance to pursue my interests.
Initially I was uneasy about a foreign language–Japanese–being used at work. The HR department was supportive and helped me with this transition. I studied Japanese for about two months in India before starting work, and I had an opportunity to keep studying Japanese on weekends over the next three months. Now I’m much better at understanding and reading Japanese.
As for technical expertise, my department excels at both robotics and electronics, so I’m surrounded by experts in all fields. Every day, I learn something new as an engineer. Communication in my department is not a problem. Most people can understand English, and I’ve gotten much better at speaking Japanese because I often speak with the Japanese friends I’ve made here.
Most days follow a pattern of arriving at 9 a.m. and working till about 6:30 or 7 p.m. After this, sometimes I work out at a gym. Other times I might coordinate various activities, such as using a mobile app to organize a futsal match with acquaintances. Once a month, I get out and enjoy nature on hikes with friends on a mountain near Tokyo.
When I studied Aerospace engineering at my university, I learnt about design and dynamics of aircrafts. Although there’s a difference in scale between airplanes and robots, they share much in common in terms of actuator technology. Now I apply what I learnt in the development of robots.
Sony deals with many products and core technologies, so I wouldn’t say you have to study a certain subject before applying. I’m convinced that people here can apply all their knowledge and expertise from college in some way.
Sony is a place where we’re competing in the global arena with advanced technology and creating products that have never existed before. Although the production of previous “AIBO” has once stopped , what we’re doing today builds on all of that past research. We also anticipate that more and more applications will be possible by combining AI and robotics.
Joining Sony appealed to me because here, I believed that sky is the limit. It’s a place where ideas can become reality, whether in physical products or in software, and you can pursue your interests. As for me, I would like to learn as much as possible and bring my own ideas to reality in future robots.