VU – UTNews & agendaNewsA match made in heaven’

A match made in heaven’

Storks Robotics Lab is a student-founded start-up operating from the DemonstratorLab on the VU Amsterdam campus. Storks develops systems that can measure emissions such as nitrogen in a cheap, non-invasive and sustainable way. And there is definitely a demand for this because the systems currently in use are often (too) expensive and/or disruptive to nature. From April up until July, six students from the Mechanical Engineering programme at VU Amsterdam will do their undergraduate thesis at Storks.

The students will work with several prototypes developed by Stork that can be used in different situations such as drones, spiders (hexapods) and a small rover similar to the one that ran around on planet Mars. Among other things students Arwa, Olivier, Mateo, Omar, Thijmen and Mateus will work on more effective and quiet propellers for the drones, locking mechanism that allow the drones to move sensors and making the rover suitable for various surfaces.

Win-win situation

Both the students and the people from Storks are very excited about the collaboration. Storks founder Aleksey Martynyuk even talks about 'a match made in heaven'. “At Storks, we are all coders and not very experienced with engineering. With the students, it's the other way around. So that will be a win-win situation. We can learn a lot from each other.” An additional advantage for the students is that they can do their undergraduate thesis close to home.  

Science for the betterAleksey founded Storks with a hefty dose of idealism. “Above all, I wanted to build a community of developers that executes work that is good for our planet and hence does not focus on consumer technology. A kind of science for the better. That's what we also have in common with the students: contributing to something that really matters. It’s great that we can now act together in this.”

Time, attention and guidance

The students will do their intensive undergraduate thesis from April up until July but already started their introduction to Storks in March. After the summer, Aleksey and the people from Mechanical Engineering will talk about the possibility of continuing the collaboration. “In terms of content, I have no doubts about that and I am very confident about a good outcome. At the same time, it is also an experiment for us. Storks is only a small team and we do want to give the students the time, attention and guidance they need and deserve. This will be a challenge in addition to our regular work but its’ one we are happy to take on. Partly due to the first social activities in March, the students will hopefully feel at home with us soon.”

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