Bring Robots to Life

Pick up a component and put it down again at another place. Sounds simple. But breathing life into a robot is a true art. It’s about control engineering, mechanics and electronics, about precision, speed and flexibility. 

Sven Goeckes is a robot programmer at KUKA.

Sven Goeckes is a robot programmer at KUKA.

Sven Goeckes is a robot programmer. As such, he is what is commonly known as a field operative. He spends his working week in the industrial halls of customers who want to automate their processes. Every day is different, every customer assignment a new experience.

“On site, I am always faced with individual tasks that need to be solved. They are very diverse challenges. That’s the exciting thing about my job,” says Sven. It all started with a model robot from Lego. As a teenager, the now 30-year-old discovered his enthusiasm for logic, sensor and actuator technology. Later, in 2015, he did an internship as part of his bachelor’s thesis at KUKA, and a few years later he started his career as a robot programmer in Customer Service.

Breathing life into machines

This is his everyday working life: He teaches the robot what task he is to perform.

“My motivation has always been to breathe life into machines,” says Sven. He learned high-level language programming and can now program both cobots and classic industrial robots. Before he goes out to the customer, a few things can be prepared. But often the water on site is quite cold.

Then it is important to keep a clear head. “I’m a lone wolf on the robot – but when it comes to the mechanical and electrical aspects of the entire system, I need someone to take care of these aspects. Then I know that I have a strong team behind me to support me,” says Sven.

On the road at customer site

Robots fascinated him as a teenager - and they still do today.

Robots fascinated him as a teenager – and they still do today.

If a robot is new, it must first be taught where the so-called zero degree position of the axes is. Only with this information can Sven then program the different points that the robot has to approach.

“My highlight so far has been our AGV project at the Mercedes-Benz Türk truck assembly plant in Aksaray. It was very fascinating how the interaction between mobile robotics and the individual stations worked. Some of the stations were equipped with several large standard industrial robots, the sight of which never ceases to amaze me,” reports Sven.

A dark side? If there is one, says Sven, it is that he often spends his working weeks away from home and his evenings in hotels. Meeting friends after work or regularly pursuing his hobbies is rather difficult: “All in all, the positive part of my job outweighs the negative. It’s great fun to see how the robot comes to life and does its job. My enthusiasm then jumps over to the customer and vice versa. That’s great.”

 

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