Robotics Student Awarded Amazon Fellowship

Oscar De La Garza, MS’25, robotics, is completing an internship through the Amazon Robotics Day One Fellowship, which is granted to a select number of students with diverse backgrounds each year. Among other responsibilities, De La Garza will be helping to improve the autonomy and human interaction capabilities of Proteus, an Amazon robot.

This article originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Cesareo Contreras. Main photo: Oscar De La Garza, a robotics graduate student at Northeastern, works in the EXP robotics bay on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

Amazon is improving the autonomy capabilities of its Proteus robot with the help of this Northeastern fellow and grad student

Oscar De La Garza is just a few weeks into his internship at Amazon Robotics, and he’s already helping test and upgrade some of the e-commerce giant’s newest and most state-of-the-art technology.

That includes Proteus, Amazon’s autonomous mobile robot or AMR. The green warehouse robot was first unveiled in 2022 and is the first AMR to come out of Amazon’s robotics division, which was launched after the company bought Boston-based Kiva Systems in 2012. The fully autonomous system is designed to transport containers in the company’s fulfillment facilities to increase productivity.

It’s a good fit for De La Garza. He’s pursuing a master’s degree in robotics at Northeastern and had worked in the university’s Robotics and Intelligent Vehicles Research Lab under the guidance of Taskin Padir, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the director of the lab.

He’s one of seven students from across the country to be named an Amazon Robotics Day One Fellow last year. The fellowship, which was launched in 2021, is meant to recognize impressive graduate students pursuing their degrees in the sciences who come from underrepresented backgrounds.

As part of that distinction, students are given scholarship money and career advancement opportunities, including internships. De La Garza is completing his at Amazon Robotics’ 350,000-square-foot facility in Westborough, Massachusetts, this summer.

The facility features numerous testing and development labs and a large manufacturing space for the company’s engineers to build and test the company’s future autonomous systems. Working in the company’s Innovation Lab, De La Garza is helping prototype and test new technologies that could be deployed three to five years from now, he says.

“It’s about 15 of us and it’s primarily co-ops and interns here,” he says. “It’s a one-of-a-kind lab here at Amazon Robotics.”

Read full story at Northeastern Global News

Related Faculty: Taskin Padir