Black History Month 2021 Feature: Norman Fletcher

Norman Fletcher is a Senior Global Engineering Manager at Expedia. He multi-tasks with cross-functional groups utilizing data to uncover opportunities for efficiency from algorithmic tweaks in AI and robotics to tectonic shifts in strategy. Norman completed his masters degree in computer science at Middlesex University with major project work in robotic software for paraplegics. He spent the last few years working in multiple countries to develop a fully automated robotic hand with a software to drive an extensive hardware, used by manufacturers including Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital.

How did you become interested in robotics? I became interested in robotics when I was studying for my masters degree in computer science over 10 years ago. I started my career in robotics and AI for the medical industry.

Who do you look up to in this industry?  Rick Faulk (CEO at Locus Robotics), Lior Elazary (CEO and Co-founder at inVia Robotics), and Florian Pestoni (CEO at inOrbit.AI). The robotics industry is still so young and people of color are helping drive new opportunities.
What words of wisdom would you give to students in the robotics community? I would encourage all new entrants into robotics to be focused, continuous learners, resolute and determined to blaze the trail. You should relentlessly strive to unlock new opportunities and develop new skills or utilise all the right tools to make discoveries, invent and simplify. Get involved in hobbies that can help unlock creativity and potential ground breaking ideas.

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