On April 12, 2024, Emilie Hein and Rick Hough, the PI and Co-PI for the IMMERSE in STEM program at Skyline College, took 18 students to Redwood City to visit Dexterity, a start-up that designs robotics systems for shipping and other logistics industry companies.

The students, mostly computer science majors and engineering majors, were delighted to see the robots in action as they toured the warehouse floor where different systems were being tested. They saw robots that sorted, some that packed, some that stacked and unstacked, but all were being tested to see how the current version was doing so that the engineers and computer scientists could return to the drawing board and fix any problems they encountered.

Not only did we get to see the robots in action, but two of the employees, a mechanical engineer, and a computer scientist, led a discussion about how to go from school to work in STEM, the difference between working for a start-up and a large, established company like Google, and some of the ethical issues around robotics and artificial intelligence.

On the ride home, the vans buzzed with excitement as the students processed what they had seen and learned, imagining how the coursework they had been studying could lead to an exciting career in STEM. We hope to make the trip down to Redwood City an annual event!

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