David develops software for robots that aims to improve social interactions for humans with learning difficulties.

Along with a team of researchers at CSIRO, he is currently trialling a number of humanoid robots, including NAO (Softbank Robotics) and KASPAR (University of Hertfordshire), to improve human-to-human interactions. For David, STEM has helped him pursue a career in helping people.

[Music plays and images move through through of a rear then facing view of David moving along a path and then the image changes to show David talking to the camera and text appears: David Silvera-Tawil, Robotics Engineer]

David Silvera-Tawil: I think STEM is already changing the world and will continue changing the world.

[Images move through to show a rear view of David writing on a whiteboard, David’s hand as he writes, David pointing at a robot and the robot moving]

Being able to understand and participate in STEM will a difference, not only to your life, but will help benefit all of us.

[Image changes to show a side view of David sitting at a desk working]

Mathematics for me as a youngster, was, was everything.

[Images move through of David working on an iPad, a robot on desktop screen, a robot waving and David shaking hands with the robot]

I loved that with Maths you didn’t have to memorise anything, just understand a few concepts and you could really solve complex problems with it.

[Image changes to show a rear view of David playing rock, paper, scissors with the robot and then the image changes to show David talking to the camera]

When they started bringing mathematics with technology and science together they started being able to create not only robotics but understand how they work in the real world and how can they actually help people.

[Images move through of David walking through a door and down a corridor, a lifelike child robot’s face, the child robot moving its arms and David working with the child robot]

I work in social robotics. So, we’re working in general with children. We do a lot of work with autism and intellectual disability and help them to interact, how to communicate with other people and eventually help them communicate with people, not only with robots.

[Image changes to show a side view of David in the foreground with a diagram of a robot on a whiteboard in the background and then the image changes to show David smiling at the camera]

If I can change the life of one child, then it tells me there is the possibility to change the life of others. It’s making a difference.

[Image changes to a show side view of David in an office talking to the camera]

With a STEM career you can create anything, whatever you put your mind into.

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo and text appears: Where could a STEM career take you?, #STEMinSchools]

[Text changes to read: Australia’s innovation catalyst]

Meet David Silvera :  David develops software for humanoid robots, that aims to improve social interactions for humans with learning difficulties.

When did you first become interested in STEM?

As a young student in Mexico, I found memorising things difficult and frustrating. I loved that with maths I didn't have to memorise - just by understanding a few concepts, I could solve these really complex problems. I would do maths for fun, I just loved sitting down and figuring things out. It was challenging, but exciting.

 ©CSIRO

How did you end up working in robotics?

I was drawn to robotics because it brings together maths, software, and electronics to take what you imagined into reality. Something that started in your imagination could become a solid 3D object moving around in front of you, helping people.

What do you love about working in STEM?

I think that STEM is already changing the world, and will continue changing the world. I have had the opportunity to work on some really amazing projects and it all started with STEM. STEM has given me the knowledge and opportunity to create an impact.

If I can change the life of one child, then it tells me there is the possibility to change the life of others. It’s making a difference.

David


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