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Daniel, JEMARO Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree, Class of 2022

Published on July 25, 2022 Updated on July 25, 2022
"JEMARO opens a whole new world to you in robotics and international travel. It helps you dream big and learn new technical and non-technical skills."
What’s your name and where do you come from?

I’m Daniel Casado from San Sebastian, Spain.

Before JEMARO, what and where did you study?

I studied Electronics and Automation Engineering at the University of Navarra with a specialization in robotics. Since I was a kid I have always loved machines that moved by themselves without any human operation, so that degree would bring me closer to my passion in many ways.

What options were you considering after your Bachelor’s? Why did you choose JEMARO?

Robots and AI!
During my bachelor’s I enrolled in multiple courses on robotics as well as being a research intern at my university’s joint research center. There I discovered how broad the field of robotics is, and I really wanted to find the area that best fits my interests and skills, thus I was sure my next step had to be a master’s degree.
After applying to multiple programs in Europe, JEMARO popped up in my Google search results. Travelling and studying robotics at two top tier universities sounded like a dream to me. Especially the fact of being in Japan, which can be considered as the cradle of robotics. And luckily enough… I still had a week left to apply!

What is the course you’ve enjoyed the most so far, and why?

Robots moving around. Sounds cool right? So I believe Mobile Robotics really helped me get a deeper understanding of the different elements involved in a robot’s motion planner. The topics ranged from path planning to simultaneous localization and mapping. It also combined the theoretical background with practical projects with simulators making it an enjoyable experience!

What is your research topic?

How does a robot understand the environment? It needs to observe the different features and make associations between them. This is fairly easy for a person, but an extremely big challenge for a computer. Most of the simple methods usually consider all the objects to be obstacles so the robot has to avoid them. But the resulting map is useless if we want to perform more complex tasks, such as moving a chair or finding a table. My goal is to build a system that creates a map of the surroundings with semantic information of the objects. This is, the map which describes what part of the map belongs to a chair and where it is located.

Why did you choose ECN/UNIGE/WUT?

For my bachelor’s thesis I had learnt and loved the tip of the iceberg on deep learning and computer vision. I thought that WUT would help me dive deeper into it.

Any cultural shocks since arriving in your home institution?

ここに英語はありません. Exactly. The language barrier is the biggest obstacle one can find in Tokyo. In engineering at least, not many students speak fluent English which sometimes leads to difficult communication between peers.

What do you find the most challenging in JEMARO?

Going to class is not enough! The educational system between the two institutions during the duration of the program is very different, there are things that I have liked and things that I haven’t. Therefore I think it’s important to take the most out of the things you think will be beneficial for you, and compensate the others with your own work. For example, I took part in a neural networks course for which I had high expectations, but in the end I felt I had not learned much. So compensating that knowledge with personal work and projects can sometimes be a challenge to fit in the schedule.

A final word?

JEMARO opens a whole new world to you in robotics and international travel. It helps you dream big and learn new technical and non-technical skills. So why not give this adventure a try? Just make sure you bring your power plug adaptor with you!

Published on July 25, 2022 Updated on July 25, 2022