Marc Puig finishes his internship program at REGNER®
Marc Puig, an ESO student at IES Vidreres, is 16 years old and has a clear goal: to study mechatronics in order to identify and solve engineering problems.
Despite his youth, he is well aware that, integrating electronics, mechanics and computer science, together with a human and critical vision, will allow him to develop bolder technological solutions for the current world.
We live in a globalized world where technological acceleration is exponential and is changing the way we relate to each other and compete, rather extremely.
A report published by the World Economic Forum describes the skills and competencies that will become necessary to ensure employability from 2020, and the first three are: the ability to solve complex problems, critical thinking, and creativity. This indicates that we are in an ever-changing world in which what can be developed using those skills is more important than the knowledge itself.
To adapt to this new paradigm, education systems are already undergoing major changes. Technology and creativity are reaching high schools so that students can have their first experiences in actual work spaces. Thus, today’s teenagers, digital natives, live their first experience within the workplace in a totally different way, they are smarter, and they have more incentives. They introduce a new dynamic, a different way of understanding design and technology.
Marc Puig is one of these students, and he has been able to carry out his internship program at REGNER®. He has designed a robotic hand that uses miniactuators to facilitate movement in a rehabilitation application. In an interview that took place at the REGNER® facilities at the end of his program, Marc shares his enthusiasm and hopes of creating things with us:
How did you get your internship at REGNER®?
The high school in Vidreres, known for its innovative methods, offers an internship program when you finish your junior year. There are only 10 available spots, and they go to the students with the best grades. I was lucky enough to get one of those spots. I chose REGNER® because I wanted to know how the side-by-side mechanical and electrical development of a technological product was carried out.
So you have a very clear idea as to what it is that you want to do?
I am still looking into what would be the best degree for me, but I do know I would like to learn about multiple disciplines and to develop mechatronic solutions. I would like to stay here at the University of Girona, but I still hesitate whether to study Industrial Engineering or a double degree that could offer a more cross-disciplinary experience.
During your stay at REGNER®, you have developed a robotic hand that uses RA-MINI actuators. Are you happy with the result?
I designed the robotic hand using the FUSION, a designing software I already knew. My mentor here at the company has helped me out every step of the way. Lluís Llenas helped me when I ran into difficulties, and so I was able to make an optimal skeleton, which is well articulated and extremely sturdy. The truth is that I am very pleased with the results.
Had you developed other products before?
I did develop a research project that involved designing and building a prototype for an autonomous vehicle with self-leveling load. The vehicle is run via radio control and moves on caterpillars, like a tank. Its main advantage is that it has a self-leveling loading platform, which allows carrying loads on irregular surfaces, even with slopes. This idea came after I saw where my uncle worked, at a warehouse, and realizing that using this vehicle he would be able to do his job much more quickly.
How would you define this first work experience?
I had no idea of what day-to-day life was like in a company. I have had the opportunity to find out what it is like to work in a technology company like this, and how it is managed. Getting up early to be here at 7 am has not been a problem, but I must admit that focusing for eight straight hours on one single project is pretty tiring. Luckily, I could get a rest from my own project by observing what was going on with other projects that were being developed in the department or by talking to the professionals from other departments. Overall, I am very happy with this experience. I honestly think I would like to keep working here.
INVESTING IN EDUCATION IS INVESTING IN COMPETITIVENESS
Talent is and will be a key competitiveness element for the business fabric of any country. A society that invests in training young people are making the best kind of investment to defend the present and future competitiveness of its economy.
The main goal of the collaboration agreements between high schools and companies is to help students get their first contact with the workplace during secondary education. These internships allow students to get closer to the business world and also to research and development projects that interest them.
Thus, students are better equipped to make decisions regarding their academic and professional future, for internships allow them to:
- Get in touch with the professional world and its system of social and working relations.
- Adapt to operating procedures and situations arising at the workplace.
- Learn how to approach their own academic and professional project.
- Get a start on research and development with the help of professionals.