Update: New video of final robot! My colleagues at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich have created a small robotic cube that can autonomously jump up and balance on any one of its corners.
It’s the end of the competition, and we’ve worked hard to get here: the long nights in the machine shop, drawing 3D models, writing essays for awards and fixing our robot whenever it breaks down. But now it’s the awards ceremony at our regional, and we’re waiting to see if our team will make it to the Championships. We stay silent as the announcer describes the winning team with subtle hints. Then he gives a big clue. Wait a minute… it sounds like our team! It IS our team. We scream in joy! We’re going to the Championships in St. Louis!
Those who move away from home, for long enough, know that you end up not belonging anywhere. The more you move the easier it becomes. Looking back, you realize that you’ve learned new languages and cultures; you know how to get around like a local. It’s worth the effort. Yet, at parties, you’re always the foreigner. You have stories of how things are done differently in other places, some of your insights are useful, most are shrugged off. Why should they do things differently, and who are you to tell them? The fact is, you can’t really understand the challenges they face, you’re not from there.
International Women’s Day crept up this year, and no one on our team planned for it. As it turned out, we didn’t need to. Making STEM fields attractive for women, giving them a voice, and helping them reach the highest ranks of academia and business is our everyday job.