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Developing in ROS - My Co-op Experience with Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc.

January 9, 2022


This blog post is dedicated to my two-term, co-op internship at Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. - a greenhouse robotics startup based in Vancouver, BC. I was on the robotics firmware team as an Embedded Software Engineer, working under the talented director of R&D, Patrick Wspanialy.

About Ecoation

Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. is an award-winning agricultural technology start-up, having designed and developed artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic vehicles that diagnose crop health in commercial greenhouses with minimal physical effort. Currently based in Vancouver, BC, Ecoation is focused on bringing the future of agriculture to focus, combining human knowledge and experience with machine precision and automation to increase operational visibility, assist growers and enhance decision making.


Job Description

As an Embedded Software Engineer, my duties ranged from developing and testing automatic systems to monitor the performance of robots on the field to implementing localization and mapping tools for growers to use to observe robot pathing in the greenhouse. One of the many highlights of this internship was the collaboration between our robotics firmware team and another based in Poland, working together to build a robot for the greenhouse that was fully automated and integrated with our monitoring and mapping systems.

The very essence of a software engineer is their ability to adapt and overcome any challenges they come to face; being a part of Ecoation presented me with this exact opportunity as I had to work with new technologies daily, such as ROS (Robot Operating System) and Docker. These were a few of the skills I had to pick up on the job, ROS being a distributed framework of Python and C++, and Docker being an open-source containerization platform used to develop, manage and deploy virtualized environments.


Summer 2021 Goals

Learn how to work in a team environment and understand the difference between academic-grade and production-level code.

Learn about how technologies are connected to one another, and what makes each unique.

Fall 2021 Goals

Learn and experiment with Docker.

Be comfortable in reading the documentation on ROS.

Understand what goes into making a product that will be used by real-world clients.


Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. will always have a place in my heart. Working alongside brilliant minds - all with the shared goal to bring agriculture and technology into one body is something that makes all the struggle worth it. They have taught me what it means to be a software engineer and for that, I could not ask more from my first internship. An absolute pleasure working alongside them.


Of the many acknowledgments, I would like to thank Jennifer Irwin, the Human Resources Manager for Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc., for presenting me with this opportunity and taking a chance with me as their intern. Alongside her, Patrick Wspanialy - director of R&D, mentor, punk lover, and robot enthusiast. He welcomed me into Ecoation and showed me the ropes early on, trusted my decisions, and helped me embrace any challenges I faced. I would like to share my gratitude with them for making my first co-op a memorable one and one that I would cherish! 👋😄