2021 Intern #3 - Nathan

All the way from New Zealand, we recently welcomed Nathan as our latest intern.
Labman cultureInterns 17 min read

Katie SimpsonPublished 24th Aug 2021

All the way from New Zealand. We recently welcomed Nathan as our latest intern before he headed off on his next lot of adventures! Find out how Nathan spent his time here over the last few months as an intern. Take it away Nathan!

Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m probably the intern who is the farthest from home to work at Labman, being from New Zealand. Don’t worry I didn’t commute that far! I’ve been living in the UK for the past couple of years on a working holiday visa. When my previous job ended in the UK, I found myself with a few months to fill before my next travel plans. Naturally, I asked around at the local pub for advice on what to do. EVERYONE said that I should connect with Labman and see what they’ve got going on. I was blown away that a robotics place was just around the corner from where I have been living. Here is a quick summary of my experience working at Labman over the summer.

Everybody here is so passionate about engineering. Almost everyone I talked to had a project they were working on in their spare time outside of work. All the engineers I worked with were very bright and highly competent. This isn’t like that group project at Uni where only a couple of people pick up all the slack. Everyone at Labman pulls their own weight, as well as helping each other out as a team. I really enjoyed working alongside everyone in each of the projects I was involved with. Everyone was very friendly and helpful which helped me feel like I fit in right away. The attitude at Labman is very open, there are no secrets. Everyone is willing to talk about what projects they’re working on, how it’s going, what problems they’re having. All of this makes it easy for you to find projects you like the sound of. If they need help, you can just go join in and be part of the team!

The building looks big but feels even bigger when you’re inside. There are countless projects going on, all on different scales. There’s non-stop robot action in all corners. There is also a big mechanical workshop, an electronics area, and an office area too. But there are also lots of other crazy things that you wouldn’t expect! Like a gym, squash court, rock climbing wall. And during my time, even a robot fighting arena! Labman hosts lots of fun events, I had fun watching FightFest, their very own robot fighting championships. I also had a great time at the annual party, Labfest! You’d have to try really hard to ever be bored!

At the core of Labman is the projects, after all, that’s why everyone is here. All of the projects that I either worked on or heard about were interesting and unique. Even near the end of my time, I was still learning about different projects going on. Each project requires different skills, so it’s great that Labman is open and flexible. They match people with projects that suit them. I felt right at home working on each of the projects, but still being stretched and learning a lot. The main project I worked on was PoCOsteo. A device that can detect Osteoporosis from an early stage, in just the size of a portable compact desktop package.

This was such a cool project to get to work on. Not only is it jammed packed with high-tech electronics, intricate mechanical design, microfluidics, and advanced software. It will ultimately save lives. It was a lot to take in at first. But everyone was so helpful that I quickly got to grips with everything. I helped assemble the electronics for the device. Iron out issues and faults we were having, and write code for test routines. I also worked on a few other projects, and I got to do a lot of electronics, and some programming. Every project kept me on my toes and helped me update my skillset. Now I feel well set up for finding a job back in New Zealand.

Overall I had an amazing time at Labman, and I’m sad to be leaving. I felt at home working here, and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to help out over the summer. If you’re interested in robotics this is definitely the place to work!