Summer Intern Program Draws to a Close

Last week we celebrated the completion of our first summer intern program. We had 15 interns, mostly PhD students from top robotics programs, and a few exceptional high-school and college students. The interns either pursued their own research, or worked closely with Willow Garage engineers to help build and test components of the PR2 robot or the open source software (ROS, OpenCV, ...) that will power it.

As they left, the interns were extremely positive about their summer experience. They loved the working environment, the people, and the free lunches and snacks. But mostly they love the idea of contributing to an open source platform, building BSD-licensed software that they can continue to use back at school with no strings attached. The biggest complaint was that the PR2 robots were not completed, so they either worked on sub-components or in the simulator. This is a problem we all hope to have remedied Real Soon Now.

A big highlight for us was the way the program helped to enhance the open source robotics community. The students got to know one another well, and those relationships will now span across institutions. We know that accelerating personal robotics will require contributions from many people beyond Willow Garage, and we are happy to have these strong connections to some of the top robotics research groups.

We continue to have interns all year round, and welcome applications from enthusiastic students.