By the time Gabe Araujo finished his degree in mechatronics and robotics, he’d built numerous robots and had experimented with all kinds of automation technology. He was then hired as a graduate engineer and began his rotation in Telstra’s Property team, working on new tech to automate repairs and maintenance. Today, construction and repair experts have to abseil down the outside of Telstra’s high-rise infrastructures to check if they’re structurally sound, but the team is now seeking new technologies to help maintain their nationwide network.
“We’re looking to use technologies such as remote cameras, 3D-mapping and laser scanning, and we may even be able to visit exchanges virtually using 360-degree remote cameras,” Gabe says. “Where there’s a big bushfire, Telstra sends drones to mobile towers – some of them more than 30 metres tall – to assess the damage and get repairs done quickly.”
Gabe says he had always wanted a career that helped people, and had contemplated a degree in medicine. Fascinated by the life-changing effect of his Gran’s knee replacement, Gabe opted for biomedical engineering, then realised robotics and mechatronics were more his thing. In Gabe’s final university project, he built a robot that could harvest solar energy in the most efficient way possible while undertaking its tasks. This awesome tech could have applications for designing autonomous, self-sufficient machinery for farms.
Gabe was hired after landing an internship with Telstra while doing his degree: “I got to go out to different sites to see what they were doing, which made me realise how what I had learnt at uni could be applied in the real world.” He says the internship helped him secure the Telstra graduate position the following year.
Gabe has since done two more rotations – the first in Telstra Health, which gave him the opportunity to act on his soft spot for medicine. “In engineering, because you have that problem-solving mentality, you can do a lot of really different things. In Telstra Health, you can change the experience of hundreds of thousands of doctors.”
He’s now in the Video Analytics team. “Telstra is looking at edge analytics to leverage their network. There’s all kinds of opportunities around IoT – the Internet of Things – with billions more devices on the network,” Gabe says. In edge analytics, a sensor or network switch near the source of the data does some processing before the information is sent to a central database. “Video is a classic case for edge processing because the volumes of data are so huge,” Gabe explains. As a result, retailers can get a ‘heat map’ of their stores that shows customer habits. This helps physical stores compete with online shopping.
“There are some great opportunities to help a lot of local businesses as well as the large corporations, and it’s exciting to be part of that,” Gabe says.
– Fran Molloy
Gabe’s path to a career with robotics and mechatronics:
> > Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation), UNSW Sydney
> > Property Team Intern, Telstra
> > Graduate Engineer, Telstra
Liked this article? Read about Telstra graduate, Isha Pandya.
“I got to go out to different sites to see what they were doing, which made me realise how what I had learnt at uni could be applied in the real world.”
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs