As a kid, Maria Ramos loved watching sci-fi movies with robots as the main character, then she realized she wanted to work on robots and be at the forefront of the industry instead of just following the technology.
Maria is the first in her family to earn a college degree and work on such prestigious project. She hopes one day she can give back to her family for all the support they’ve given her. Maria is the Chief of the Public Affairs unit for the UNLV robotics team and is working on her Ph.D in mechanical engineering.
She loves listening to music from all over the world, plays the cello, considers herself a good pianist, and teaches herself other instruments. She enjoys the cheers in karaoke bars as she gets up to sing, whether singing with her friends or in front of a big crowd, “it really isn’t that bad singing in front of a big crowd on a stage, even when your voice isn’t great.”
Aside from HUBO being able to achieve multiple tasks, Maria wished it were able to speak as well. “Let’s say there’s a building on fire and a robot is going to help, instead of just seeing a machine, I think people would be calmer if the robot talked to them and assured them that it’s here to help.”
Ramos, who is in charge of community outreach for the team, said making technology available for everyone to experience will fix misconceptions about robotics. Allowing people to interact with the technologies and learning from engineers about the capabilities of robots will help ease fears, she said.