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The Working at Rapyuta vol.12 “Beyond “Like”: Opening the Windows of the Heart, Expanding the World, and Developing Better Solutions” 

Date: 31 May 2024
Category: corporate, people

The “Working at Rapyuta” series celebrates some of the best minds at Rapyuta Robotics. Through interviews with employees, we bring you the real story that you won’t find elsewhere. 

Working at Rapyuta Vol.12  
Jaiyam Sharma- Robotics Software Engineer 

After graduating from university, I obtained a PhD in semiconductor technology research. Wanting to delve deeper into my hobby of robotics, I joined Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd. There, I was involved in developing recognition systems for agricultural robots and working on an autonomous driving project for construction machinery intended for space. 

In January 2023, I joined Rapyuta Robotics, where I experienced various departments as a perception engineer before engaging in solving customer issues with the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) team. Leveraging my extensive experience and profound knowledge, I led the development of new robots at an astounding pace. Currently, I serve as the team leader, playing a crucial role in system integration. 

From the semiconductor world to the robotics industry, expanding the horizons from hobby to space-scale development. 

During my graduate studies, I focused on semiconductor technology research and obtained a Ph.D. However, upon graduation, I found myself drawn to robotics, a hobby of mine. I approached various companies, showcasing my robotics prototypes, and received positive responses like “What you’re doing is amazing.” This led me to join Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd. 

At Yanmar, I was involved in developing recognition systems for agricultural robots, particularly autonomous driving tractors. This involved using cameras to detect rice, people, and other equipment to support safe operations, as well as developing boundary detection systems for fields. 

After about a year and a half in this role, I transitioned to a project aimed at developing robots for constructing buildings on the surface of the moon. These are construction robots designed to operate in space. Since space lacks human presence, multiple robots need to cooperate, communicate, and achieve tasks. Given the magnitude of the project, we collaborated with universities on embedded software development, circuit design, and hardware development. 

Encountering Rapyuta Robotics with Unique Industry Values 

Initially, I entered the robotics industry with a simple desire to try something new, but I found it surprisingly fascinating and deeply fulfilling. However, I noticed a prevalent trend in the industry where technology took precedence over customer needs, and many companies focused on specific technologies without clear added value, sparking doubts and concerns within me. 

Amidst this landscape, I encountered Rapyuta Robotics, a company with a distinct set of values. Rapyuta Robotics highly values the concept of “First Principles,” which involves deducing optimal solutions by delving into the essence of things. In practice, they utilize all available technologies to develop robots tailored to the needs of their customers. I resonated deeply with this mindset and approach, ultimately deciding to join Rapyuta Robotics. 

Bridge between Technologies and People: Integrating All Aspects to Deliver Optimal Solutions to Customers 

Upon joining the company, I initially experienced various departments as a perception engineer. Subsequently, I was assigned to my current role in the ASRS team, where I provide solutions for our in-house robot, the Automated Warehouse (ASRS), as a Systems Integration Engineer. 

ASRS is a robot that automates the transportation of goods within warehouses, significantly enhancing productivity and storage efficiency. ASRS integrates various technologies such as embedded software, circuit design, robot recognition, computer vision, AI/machine learning, databases, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and user interfaces, with specialized teams dedicated to each technical domain. Our team’s role is to integrate these technologies into solutions. 

Furthermore, Rapyuta’s ASRS reflects solutions born from customer challenges. For instance, to eliminate the need to halt factory operations during installation, we designed it to be easily deployable or scalable for small-scale implementation, considering various aspects. This process starts with the sales and project management teams understanding customer needs, followed by the technical teams shaping them into reality. Our Systems team enters the field to provide technical support for issue resolution, acting as a conduit between the field and technical teams, representing the closest position to the customer in engineering. 

We continually update and provide solutions with the latest technologies while reflecting the voices from the field. One particularly memorable project was coordinating the development of a new robot equipped with a camera recognition system, transitioning from sensor-based ASRS. Leveraging my previous experience, I led the team on the technical front, achieving implementation at an incredibly rapid pace of three months. Recognized for this, I now also manage the team as a team leader. 

Embracing Multifaceted Communication and Flexible Systems Positively 

Rapyuta Robotics is an exceptionally multinational company. Our systems team, predominantly composed of foreigners, includes members from various nationalities. My team alone consists of more than ten members, including interns. While working in such a multicultural environment presents its challenges, it also fosters a casual atmosphere where we respect each other’s strengths and personalities, which I find incredibly helpful. 

Recently, we completed a project with a large corporation, which I found to be the most challenging project since I joined the company. This project was crucial for us, and its success was highly anticipated. At the initial stages, we struggled with communication due to different approaches to the product from both sides and frequently needed to share engineering knowledge. Additionally, there was a substantial amount of documentation to be prepared, making it difficult to focus on engineering tasks as I was constantly occupied with management duties. During this period, I consulted with our CEO and reorganized the division of roles. By getting help from other team members for tasks like document preparation and communication with the client, I was able to concentrate on engineering, which ultimately led to the project’s success. 

Rapyuta Robotics always demonstrates flexibility in its operations. Unlike typical large corporations that create detailed long-term plans and work backward to execute daily tasks, we do not follow this style. Although the company has significant overall goals, each member is expected to continuously experiment and find ways to shape outcomes in ever-changing situations. While the timelines are tight and technical challenges are not easy, the company’s open atmosphere and cooperative, flexible approach provide great reassurance. 

Although there are many uncertainties, as long as results are delivered, the level of freedom is exceptionally high. The company has implemented a flextime system, allowing for flexible work styles and making it easier to maintain a work-life balance. Those who find this environment suitable seem highly motivated and consistently proactive in their work. 

Expanding Horizons and Creating New Value through Open Dialogue with Various Departments 

Rapyuta Robotics is well-suited for individuals who are passionate about creating new products and services, and those with a constant desire to challenge themselves and innovate. For such people, this is an exciting and rewarding environment. 

Specifically, regarding the systems team, you not only get to work with robotics technology but also gain insights into the business world. These are valuable experiences that are hard to come by elsewhere. If you are someone who appreciates the opportunity to expand your perspective beyond your specialized field and into the realm of business, you would find this aspect particularly appealing. I would love to work with people who share this enthusiasm. 

Balancing engineering and management to successfully complete projects is no easy task. However, instead of building barriers and isolating oneself, I believe that opening up and engaging in dialogue with members from various departments can broaden our horizons and lead to the development of better solutions. Such opportunities are rare, and I encourage you to make the most of them. 

At Rapyuta Robotics, we are looking for new team members to join us! 

For more information, visit our recruitment page here

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