Employer Spotlight: Augmentus
A young startup shaking up the world of robotics
Programming and operating robotic systems in the industrial world used to take months. Augmentus, started in late 2019, is changing that. With their intuitive platform and AI-driven software that allows people without technical expertise to simply programme their robots, companies can now develop and operate industrial robotics in minutes.
Augmentus came to life when the three co-founders (Daryl, Yong Shin and Voon Foo) met at a hackathon, and noticed the gap in the industrial robotics space where human operators of robots cannot program them unless they have high technical expertise. The process of training these operators to code is a long and costly one, and Augmentus aims to bridge that gap. For the layperson, Augmentus can be simply referred to as the “Canva” or “Wordpress” for robotic programming.
Just recently, in January 2021, Augmentus won the Gold award under the Student Techblazer category at the SG:D Techblazer Awards. The award recognises innovative ideas with commercialisation potential by students from the Singapore Public Education Institutions, and aims to encourage the next generation of innovators. Augmentus came in top amongst 7 finalists in the same category.
Real responsibilities for every member
Starting a company is a hard enough feat on its own. Imagine having to juggle a degree course at the same time! That is just the case with 2 out of 3 of Augmentus’ co-founders, and they point to good prioritising and a strong team to help manage. A main feature of the Augmentus culture is ownership and autonomy - every team member, full-time or intern, is expected to take responsibility for their work. Because of that, all of their products are influenced by their interns’ work in one way or another.
While interns benefit from mentorship from the more senior members of the team, most of them take up full responsibilities at a level similar to full-timers after their first few months with Augmentus. The founders value the fresh perspectives that interns bring with them, which can be naive sometimes, but always worth considering with an open mind.
“Working in Augmentus has been really great as I was given the opportunity to lead and explore different technologies to use in our product. Everyone was very accommodating and receptive to suggestions even though I did not have any internship experience prior to Augmentus” - Xinwei, Software Development Intern
A culture of fun and growth
With the average age of the team in its 20s, the culture at Augmentus is also very much about having fun while learning and growing. The company firmly believes that you do better when you enjoy the process. Hence, it’s important for employees to find joy in their work and know not to take things too seriously at times.
“Throughout my time in Augmentus, I not only gained incredible working experiences, but also formed close friendships with the team. I truly enjoyed the work life balance I had in Augmentus and with the "work hard play harder" philosophy in mind, we celebrate every small win and the team grows stronger and closer to each other. It is incredible that we start as colleagues but end up as close friends.” - Joanna, Marketing Intern
Jiazheng, another intern with Augmentus, recalls an enjoyable experience with one of their clients. “I got to interact with the VCs and potential clients on a personal level. Recently, we had been working with an agriculture startup. Tasting their fruits and vegetables onsite at their greenhouse was a perk I didn't expect from such an internship."
At the same time, knowing that their team members value learning and growth, the founders make an effort to check in with the interns and employees every 3 months to ensure that the interns receive the exposure they want.
Prioritising mindset over skill set
Talent with the right skills in the robotics engineering field can be hard to come by, and the leaders at Augmentus recognise that. That is why their recruitment philosophy centres around hiring people with the right attitude and ability to adapt to change, and training them where their skills fall short.
Joanna also shared about the nurturing culture in Augmentus, where she was supported in her growth during her internship. “Coming from a non-technical background, I had a very steep learning curve when it comes to understanding the technical terms and the core product of Augmentus. However, with the tremendous help from the team and the founders, I managed to gain a much deeper insight about the robotics industry."
Bright outlook for the future
The new year is looking to be an exciting one for Augmentus, with the announcement that the company had been selected for the 9th term of Fujitsu’s accelerator programme.
Augmentus is always on the lookout for talent who are willing to learn about the robotics automation industry. Since they started on the Global Ready Talent Programme (GRT), they have hosted 5 interns and are currently onboarding another 2.
Published February 2021
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