Behind the Halo: Rishabh Changwani, Robotics Software Engineer

In the fast-paced world of tech and start-ups, it's all about recognizing the folks who've been there from the get-go. This time, we look Behind the Halo with our Robotics Software Engineer, Rish, who's been in the game since day one. With a background in mechatronics and a serious love for robots, the journey to Halo.Car is only natural. Read on for his experiences, challenges, and some early history of Halo. 

What is your role at Halo?

I am a Robotics Software Engineer at Halo.

Tell us a little about yourself - where you grew up, what you studied, and a couple of your jobs before Halo.

I grew up in Mumbai, India. I studied mechatronics for my bachelor's degree, then pursued my master's in Robotics at the University at Buffalo. Before my master's, I had a few internships. I worked as a robotics intern at Drishti Emergency Services, where I developed a beach autonomous rover currently deployed on Indian beaches. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked on freelance projects to automate hydroponic farms.

How did you end up working here?

It's an exciting story. While looking for internships during my spring 2022 semester, I saw a tweet about Halo driving 95 mph in the Autonomous Indy Challenge during CES 2022. Our CEO, Anand, was tagged in the tweet and had his DMs open. I took this opportunity and reached out to him. After a few rounds of interviews, I secured the internship and now work full-time. Fun fact: I was the first hire after our seed raise!

What is it like working at Halo? What excites or motivates you about working at Halo?

Working at Halo is a very enriching experience, mainly because the company culture is highly valued. I joined when we were just 6-7 people; we have grown to over 30! My passion for robotics and belief in electric vehicles being the future motivates me to continue my work. Electric vehicles are the future, but the infrastructure must be fully developed. At Halo, we aim to provide the best EV experience and show people how easy it is not to own a car without any inconveniences.

Can you share a memorable experience or success story from your time at Halo?

One of my most significant achievements at Halo has been designing and developing our remote emergency stop system, officially called the Override Functionality Button (OFB). This system allows us to transition to fully remote operations (without a safety driver in the vehicle) by providing a reliable remote emergency stop capability. It enables us to stop the car via multiple pathways from our headquarters in case something were to go wrong. This project has significantly expanded my technical skills.

What are some of your hobbies and interests that help you unwind?

In addition to tinkering with mobile robots, you can always find me playing sports. I am an avid sportsperson and enjoy playing squash, tennis, soccer, cricket, and swimming! I make it a point to engage in physical activity daily.

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