The humans behind Avidbots: Meet Teyvonia Thomas
In our latest episode exploring the Humans behind Avidbots, we interview someone who makes Neo’s cleaning plans possible.
We’re thrilled to chat with Teyvonia Thomas, a senior software developer who has been with Avidbots for over 3 years. As a member of the Localization and Mapping Team, Teyvonia’s expertise allows Neo to thrive in dynamic environments.
When did you first realize you wanted to become a roboticist?
I realized I wanted to become a roboticist when I took my first robotics course. It was fun, challenging and engaging, and I wanted a career that made me feel as excited as I was when I was doing the projects for that course.
What does your team do?
The Localization and Mapping Team is responsible for developing the software that Neo needs to map its cleaning environments. This software also allows Neo to determine its position and orientation in those maps during cleaning.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Most of my day is spent coding new localization and mapping algorithms which I love doing. I review code written by my teammates and research cutting-edge algorithms as well. I also test developments or bug fixes to our software in simulation and on data sets collected while the robot is cleaning.
What’s different about working at Avidbots compared to another robotics company?
I have a good work-life balance at Avidbots. I have challenging and interesting projects at work while being able to enjoy my life outside work hours.
What’s your proudest moment over the past year?
I was part of a core team of three localization software developers that redesigned and rebuilt the localization stack. To see that integrated into the autonomy software and successfully deployed at a leading retailer was immensely satisfying.
What’s one thing about Neo someone may not know?
If you watch very closely, Neo likes to sing and dance while it cleans (only kidding).
If you had your own personal Neo, how would you decorate it?
I would wrap it in red to match Neo’s vibrant personality.
If you were to take Neo out on a date, what type of food would you order?
Neo has a spicy personality, so I would order jerk chicken if we went on a date.
And finally, what advice would you give your younger self at the beginning of your career?
Take the risks needed to craft a fulfilling career.
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