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Revolutionising Daily Life: Diana Gastrin on Dishwashers, Arduino, and 3D Printing

Fri 17 May 2024

Before Cloud Expo Europe, taking place as part of Tech Show Frankfurt on 22-23 May, we had the pleasure of interviewing Diana Gastrin, a Software Engineer at Apple.

Diana shared her thoughts on three transformative technologies that have influenced her perspective on automation and engineering: the dishwasher, Arduino, and 3D printing.

Her insights provide a compelling narrative on how these technologies shape both her professional work and everyday life.

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Automation in Everyday Life

Gastrin’s perspective on automation was significantly influenced by the dishwasher, a household appliance that helped her ‘define what makes an automation a good one’.

She elaborated that the dishwasher replaces a repetitive, time-consuming action, whilst providing constant results, affordability, ease of use, and convenience.

Looking ahead, Diana envisions further advancements in home automation.

“The world is ready for an all-in-one machine that washes, dries, and folds clothes,” predicted Gastrin.

Gastrin also foresees that grocery stores will eventually become more automated, where customers can scan their products and have them packaged automatically.

Sparking an Interest in Hardware Engineering

Diana’s introduction to Arduino marked a pivotal moment in her career, sparking her interest in hardware engineering.

“Using Arduino, I created projects that I could not create with software only. It introduced me to different sensors and displays,” recalled Gastrin.

Her experience with Arduino has also influenced her approach to software development.

“I learned how to optimise memory consumption since Arduino is very limited compared to a computer,”  added Gastrin.

Gastrin highlighted how Arduino has democratised access to hardware engineering, making it accessible to enthusiasts and professionals. She added that before Arduino, it was difficult to get into hardware development.

“The learning curve was really steep, and you had to know a lot about technical terms and processes before you could do any project. In Arduino, everything is user-friendly, well-documented, and you can start creating impressive things immediately,” said Gastrin.

Revolutionising Design and Creation

Gastrin’s journey with 3D printing began with a need for a custom enclosure for a personal project. She said she found a wooden box and had to reshape it, drill holes, and use glue, adding that it looked more like a prototype than a product. Inspired by YouTubers, she realised that 3D printing could make her projects look professional.

“The idea that I can turn any sketch into a real 3D printed object is very inspiring. Everything is up to me and I am not dependent on anyone, I can make it end-to-end using my modelling software and my 3D printer,” said Gastrin

Gastrin has even explored unconventional applications of 3D printing, such as a low-polygon cat-shaped lamp that turns on when petted on the back.

Anticipated Session at Cloud Expo Europe

Gastrin said she is eager to share her experiences and insights at Cloud Expo Europe at Tech Show Frankfurt.

“I hope this session will inspire attendees to explore the uniqueness of each programming language they use and search for the hidden gems within them,” said Gastrin.

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22-23 May 2024, Messe Frankfurt

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