Annika O’Brien makes cool robots. She founded the popular LA Robotics Club, which has over 1,200 members including high school students, hobbyists, and professionals who share an interest in building robots.
Annika’s enthusiasm for sharing what she knows, direct approach, and knows-no-limits attitude has made her a force to be recognized in the robotics community. She is the co-founder of STEAMtrax, an organization that designs projects for K–12 engineering curricula.
Working as a software developer for the gaming industry, Annika started working with robots as a hobby. Around 2008 she began to focus on robots almost exclusively. She is now working full time in education. Annika is interested in promoting learning for all, and making technology accessible to both girls and boys of all backgrounds. She has worked in particular to bring in those whose social, financial or ethnic background might not support their interest in technology.
Annika was recently interviewed by STEM Women. Although she prefers to focus on her abilities, rather than the fact that she is a woman, she is glad to be a role model for anyone who wants to get into technology. Her advice is to educate yourself, learn to use the Internet for its resources, and to seek support from your parents or those around you.