Rubem outside Optime with his robot

Rubem Prandi has spent over 500 hours of his spare time building a robot. His plan was to start his own company producing robots.

Rather than start his own business, the mechanical engineer had several entrepreneurial conversations with Jan Fredrik Carlsen, CEO of Optime, before choosing to join Optime.

The conversations were about starting one’s own company, risks, dreams, the art of engineering and passion for electronics.

“Our mentality for development and corporate culture was similar. At some point in 2019, Optime needed more people, and the choice became easy for me,”

Rubem explains.

Educated and raised in Brazil

Optime’s own Gyro Gearloose was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His education as a mechanical engineer is from his country of birth. Today he has dual citizenship; Italian and Brazilian, and he is also now considering becoming a Norwegian citizen.

When you talk to Rubem, it is difficult to understand that he has lived in Norway for only 8 years.

The Brazilian speaks such good Norwegian! His ear for language must be in a league of its own, right? When we comment on this, we learn that Rubem speaks Italian, Portuguese, French, English and Norwegian.

Moved to the welfare state Norway

The reason Rubem moved to Norway was that he received a job offer.

“I worked for Technip FMC in Rio de Janeiro, and when Technip FMC offered me a job in Kongsberg, we moved to Norway. This was in 2013,” Rubem says.

At the time, the political situation in Brazil was difficult. Rubem and his wife also had a desire to start a family. Today, the couple have two children: a seven-year-old and a two-year-old.

Rubem, his wife and their two children are the only ones in their family living in Norway.

Rubem’s parents still live in Brazil. His father’s family is from Italy and his sister lives in Dublin. Rubem’s wife also has all her family in Brazil. They have chosen to live in Norway in order to give the children a safe upbringing.

“The biggest advantage of living here in Norway is that you can spend a lot of time with the children. Even if you work a lot, you have much more free time in Norway than in Brazil,” says the father-of-two.

Why do robots fascinate you?

“The combination of mechanics, engineering and electronics is incredibly exciting!

I love mathematics, and making robots is a great way to learn. Building a robot requires advanced programming and is very mechanical”, says the robot enthusiast who loves electronics.

The mechanical engineer has spent 500 hours building his own robot – just for fun.

“Yes, you could call it a passion. Because I am a mechanical engineer, there were many parallels between my job at Technip FMC and robot building in my free time.

“My hobby makes me a better engineer at work. I excercise theory and practice”

Rubem Prandi

“There are so many possibilities,” he continues enthusiastically. Coding of robots varies from industry to industry, and from person to person. Here, the answers are certainly not a given.

The user is right – not the technician

“I’ve been testing out smart home technology; more specifically, switching on and off light and heat automatically. My wife was the guinea pig, and she has little interest in technology.

I quickly realized that the technology had to be adapted to the user – not to me as a techno freak,” he explains.

“The question is, how can technology simplify everyday life for the user? What will the technology solve?”

Rubem Prandi

Giving back to the university in Brazil

In Brazil, the economic conditions are different from here in Norway. It is therefore difficult for schools to keep up with technology development. Rubem contacted a teacher at the university (UFRJ – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and offered them a robot with all codes.

“This was a robot I had made affordable and simple. I want all students to learn about technology and development.

For me, this came at a low cost, but it is of high value for a school in Brazil,” says a moved Rubem, who has a warm heart for his home country.

Optime Subsea aims to “simplify subsea”. Read how here.