Mechanical Engineering junior Kath Xu interned at a family-owned company developing complex "machines that measure."
Kath at the Fori Imperiali in Rome

Felix the Robot

Kath Xu spent her junior summer at the Loccioni Group developing a vision module for Felix, a robot that inspects switches on railway tracks. The prototype she created provides front view capability with views of both the railway track below and the catenaries above. As the robot scans railway tracks for any defects, this camera system will capture images every few meters ultimately helping railway managers better inspect the areas surrounding the track.  At the end, this vision prototype was integrated into myFelix, a web platform for customers to download the data reports that the robot generates and to track where Felix has been using its GPS capability.

Machines that Measure

Kath greatly enjoyed working with her colleagues at Loccioni — a family owned mid-sized company that makes complex “machines that measure” but is deeply integrated in its still largely agricultural surrounding. It also has a strong international dimension — it exports most of its machines — and a very open culture. This is the second year they have taken MIT interns through the MISTI program. 

Life in Italy

Kath found everyone to be incredibly friendly and was often invited out to lunches and dinners. Even the CEO and founder of the company, Enrico Loccioni, took the time out to meet with Kath and Carlos Henriquez (the other MIT intern at Loccioni) and attend their presentations. This openness made up for the distance from Italy’s best known destination cities. Still, Kath was able to travel to Rome, Milan, and Venice over the weekends.

  • Italy
  • Internship
  • MechE