Lorena Ximena in front of the new Autonomous Systems Test Arena (ASTA).

First autonomous systems graduate

Monday 20 Apr 20


Lazaros Nalpantidis
Professor, Head of Group, Head of Studies
DTU Electro
+45 51 62 17 76


Ole Ravn
Professor, Study Line Coordinator Automation and Robot Technology
DTU Electro
+45 45 25 35 60


Lorena Ximena Nigro


Exam via Skype: Due to the COVID-19 situation, Lorena Ximena Nigro completed her final examination at home via Skype. 

Autonomous Systems study programme: www.dtu.dk/autosys

DTU now has its first graduate from the MSc programme in Autonomous Systems, and her initial experience is that her qualifications fully match industry requirements. 

Lorena Ximena Nigro originally envisioned herself working with traditional development tasks in a production company. She therefore took a bachelor’s degree in technical product development at Copenhagen School of Design and Technology.

“As part of the programme, I interned at different production companies. And I quickly discovered that more advanced solutions than simply optimizing the ma-chines or processes were needed if the desire to streamline the production was to be met,” says Lorena Ximena Nigro.

Lorena therefore chose to enrol in the MSc in Autonomous Systems at DTU. In this programme, students are trained to build systems that utilize new technologies for the intelligent digitalization of corporate production. 

Autonomous systems find solutions on their own
An autonomous system is much more than a traditional robot or drone—something that many companies already have. Robots and drones are typically programmed to perform a single task, which they will stop performing if something unexpected occurs. For example, if a pallet has accidentally been placed on the transportation robot’s usual route. The robot will then stop performing its task and will only resume it when a person restarts it or moves the pallet. An autonomous system, on the other hand, is programmed to find an alternative way around new obstacles without the need for human interference. 

“I have heard several business owners and development managers emphasize the importance of such intelligent autonomous systems using robots and drones in readying the companies for Industry 4.0,” says Lorena. 

Focus on interaction between humans and machines
During an internship at American Lockheed Martin, for example, Lorena helped introduce employees to the use of image recognition technology as a supplement to their own visual impressions or Augmented Reality on an iPad to visualize different installations. 

Lorena chose to work with digital transformation strategy in her final project in collaboration with the company Terma, which, among other things, produces radars and satellite technology. The aim was to develop a strategy for optimizing a production area using new intelligent digital tools. 
“It’s possible to involve autonomous systems in various ways in production to enable the work to be carried out faster and in a better quality. It could be in a form that enables greater use of data, the use of artificial intelligence, digital twins, Internet of Things (IoT), or other technology. Regardless of the technology, however, systems and functions with no human interference are the ones that are interesting,” says Lorena.

Throughout her study programme, Lorena has focused on the interaction between humans and machines. When production changes due to introduction of new technology, it is essential to simultaneously educate employees, enabling them to continue to perform their tasks, even if the nature of the tasks changes. Lorena is looking forward to continuing working on this challenge as a qualified engineer specializing in autonomous systems.