How I got into building robots — and met Malala | Roll CallOn August 30, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Finding my biggest passion in robotics and engineering completely changed my life. This is a video series in which girls from countries around the world are sharing their stories and telling what matters to them. Hi everyone. This is Roll Call. I’ve always been interested in science, particularly in medicine since my mother is a nurse and my father is a physician I have graduated from high school and now I’d like to combine my parents’ medical backgrounds with my love of engineering and robotics and go to university and forge a career in biomedical engineering. I was an exchange student in Minneapolis, Minnesota and, well, I wasn’t really interested in robotics at first but some of my friends kept telling me how fun it is to join the robotics team. By the end of the school year, I was kind of obsessed with robotics. I just knew I needed to start a robotics team in my home town in Japan and here I am. While I found robotics really inspiring, my mother wasn’t so sure because she thought it would be impossible for a girl to actually build a robot And since no one in my family was an engineer, there would be no one who could give me any advice or help me. I used to think that they’re too difficult for me to study but it turned out that I just didn’t know where I can obtain the knowledge about engineering. Chiba Institute of Technology is the building over there. They said they can actually lend us a room and the tools and also the mentors and everything. And the best thing is they’re doing this for free. Dr Ken Tomiyama at CIT was so kind and helpful that he let us use the tools at the institute. So especially in building season, we sometimes forget to eat, so we always keep some snacks like this and also, we always keep a bed. Although my mother was not sure whether I could actually do robotics, I just didn’t stop trying. Finally, I was able to show her that I understand what it really takes and earn her support which is really important to me. When I just started to recruit members for my robotics team I thought there wouldn’t be many girls, but I found that there were actually many girls who would be interested in robotics But there are still many who do not have the option. The number of after school robotics programmes in Japan has been increasing rapidly but they’re really expensive and there are many people who cannot afford them. I am planning to hold workshops that introduce robotics and are often free for girls to join. So students can get a taste for building robots and see it as a potential career. It’s just awesome to even get to see her but it was really great to hear from Malala about how we should inspire more girls and that was amazing. I hope that these stories will have inspired you and that you will share it with you friends as well. And please do not forget to subscribe to our channel.