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BIT student Linh Le:“Working with Pepper the Robot is fun every day”

Student interview with Business Information Technology student Linh Le.

Linh Le with Pepper the robot.

Linh Le, a student of the English-language Business Information Technology program (BIT), is currently working as an intern in Laurea’s RDI unit. She is participating in the ROSE research project on the use of robots in nursing, and works with Pepper, a smart robot.

Who are you, and why did you want to study business information technology?
"I’m originally from Vietnam, and I’m currently studying business information technology at Laurea for the third year. I wanted to study in Finland, because I knew that your education system is one of the best in the world. What was particularly interesting with Laurea’s Business Information Technology program was its combination of IT and business management."

What has been the best part of your studies so far?
"I like the Laurea way of studying, that is, concentrating more on practical work and less on theories. I’ve noticed that for me, this is the most efficient way to learn, and this way I also learn how things are done in the business world.

A particularly exciting study unit was “Service Innovations” that took place last autumn. During that study unit, we worked in small teams on a real assignment by the City of Espoo and developed new service concepts, particularly for Chinese tourists. During the project, we had to solve a number of practical problems, and I learned loads of new things."

What do you do as an intern?
"I began my internship in Laurea’s RDI unit in January, and I’ll be here for the rest of the spring. At the beginning of my internship, I’ve concentrated on learning how to program Pepper the Robot.

Although it doesn’t require very advanced coding skills, it is good to know how the programming language works. On the other hand, it also requires some understanding of service development and service design. The purpose of the ROSE project is to find new ways to use robots in the care of elderly people, and service design is very useful in that."

How does it feel to work with Pepper the Robot?
"Working with Pepper is fun every day! Every day I learn something new about what works with Pepper and what does not.
Patience, for one thing, is something you definitely need with Pepper. Sometimes I think that I’ve managed to code a certain function just right. Then, when I try the function, it doesn’t go at all in the way I thought it would. In most cases, lots of testing is required.

Robots will become a common part of our everyday lives in the near future, and everyone should have an open attitude towards robots. I admit that science fiction movies may give you a different idea, but there’s no need to be scared of robots. Neither is the programming of robots something you should be afraid of; anybody can learn to program Pepper, for example.

After this internship, I’d like to find a job and a topic for my thesis that would allow me to continue working with Pepper."