Kunal Patel drives the technological revolution in robotics engineering. Read to know

Kunal Patel

It is a known fact that Silicon Valley is the global hub for technological innovation. Located in South San Francisco, it is home to many innovative minds. Kunal Patel, a seasoned Senior Software Robotics Engineer has showcased his prowess as a thriving force in the field of Robotics. Bringing the experience of more than a decade, Kunal Patel's successful journey is a result of his relentless dedication, passion and unparalleled pursuit of excellence.

Kunal's interest in robotics goes back to his high school days when he was captivated by the spectacle of ABU Robocon competitions. However, he made his foray into the field of robotics when he represented his college team for COEP in ABU Robocon 2010 and Robocon 2011, gaining recognition as a skilled robot operator on national television.

It was only after gaining valuable experience in the semiconductor industry, that he made a crucial decision to devote his full time to the robotics industry. Kickstarting his journey, he first gained knowledge by enrolling in a prestigious program for a Master's degree in Robotics Engineering at the renowned Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Passionate about robotics, his curiosity to learn about the field helped him gain internships and projects. As Kunal aced his skills and broadened his horizons, he began working as a robotics intern at the Near Earth Autonomy. During his internship tenure, Patel delved into developing firmware for GPS-IMU-based Inertial Navigation Systems, where he realized the critical importance of time synchronization in hardware design and firmware architecture.

Coupled with newfound expertise, the engineer designed cutting-edge computing hardware stacks, enabling precise sensor measurements down to 50 nanoseconds. With his top-notch skills, Kunal contributed to projects like UAVs delivering blood to soldiers and developing landing zone evaluation modules for Volocopter air taxis.

Moreover, he then became a past master in system integration and time synchronization, contributing significantly to mapping and navigation systems at 6 River Systems. Diving deep into the evolution of computing platforms in modern mobile robots, Kunal Patel stresses the importance of robust software architecture. According to him, the four major domains to boost a robot's intelligence include perception, mapping & localization, planning and controls.

In simple words, Patel explains that perception is essential for understanding the environment through sensors like cameras and lidars. Moving further, mapping and localization utilize this data to map the surroundings and pinpoint the robot's location. Thirdly, planning determines the robot's movements based on its objectives and terrain. Lastly, control mechanisms ensure the precise execution of movements by coordinating motors and actuators.

"Mobile robots are revolutionizing various sectors, from commercial to military applications, and even space exploration," revealed Kunal. From his vast experience, Kunal shed light on the pivotal role of middleware in facilitating interprocess communication and ensuring efficient utilization of computing resources. In addition, he elucidated the developmental phases from prototyping to cost reduction, emphasizing the transition from leveraging existing tools like ROS (Robot Operation System) to developing bespoke solutions tailored to specific requirements.

As Kunal continues to push boundaries in technology and robotics engineering, he aims to improve the functionality of robots, performance optimization and cost efficiency. "It is a continuous journey of innovation. With minimal cost, I aim to create an environment where robots can deliver high-performance solutions accurately", he concluded.