First Croatian Humanoid Robot Developed by MVT Solutions – Meet KAI

Lauren Simmonds

KAI, or when referred to by its full name ”Knowledge And Innovation” is the very first Croatian humanoid robot, and just like you and I, it has arms, legs, a body and a head.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 21st of October, 2019, KAI, manufactured and marketed by MVT Solutions, a startup based in Pisarovina, a place not far from Zagreb, is quite unlike any Croatian-made robot to date.

The appearance of the KAI robot can be printed on any 3D printer, its software can be customised as desired, since the system it was built on is used as “open source” and sensors can be added to it as and when a person wishes.

The Croatian startup MVT Solutions, has after three years of development fully prepared itself for mass production with ready-made versions of KAI robots. In addition, they also sell IoT cloud subscriptions, which provide other applications for their hardware. Ivan Golubić, the co-founder of MVT Solutions modestly says that the incredible KAI robot was created by the community.

“There are various open-source models and robot geometries that have been transformed into an educational robot with the help of the community, students, etc. The KAI robot consists of 4 motors, 3D printed elements, sensors and an IoTaaP Magnolia board, and users can 3D print it themselves, or order it,” says Golubić, pointing out that they plan to sell several hundred KAI robots by the end of the year.

However, behind this little robot is a big business story indeed. The Croatian startup MVT Solutions first made its public appearance a mere two years ago when it launched the first Croatian smart Grunner X electric bike, which was later tested out by no less than the police force in Dubai.

In the meantime, it has developed several more products and has attracted the interest of a number of sound industry names. MVT Solutions is a specialist in the development of Internet of Things (IoT) systems. It offers development and prototyping services for IoT products for others, and has also developed its own so-called IoTaaP platform. The Croatian company’s IoT platform drives both the KAI robot and the impressive Grunner X bike. It is hardly surprising that this innovative company has come under the radar of investors over the last couple of years.

Just two years ago, this startup was among the winners of the Zicer Accelerator Startup Factory, last year it was selected as the best IoT startup in the region as part of the EIT InnoEnergy PowerUp competition, and earlier this year, it found itself among the top 20 startups of choice by the business angel community in Norway.

“The hardware part of our IoT platform enables rapid development and Plug & Play mode with our cloud, and the cloud itself provides us with incredible scalability, both for clients and for investors,” explains Golubić.

As has since been learned, now this Croatian company’s first investment is on the horizon, which will enable the company to hire 20 more experts in the next year.

“We’re currently closing an investment round that will raise the company’s valuation to several million kuna, thereby opening up space for new clients, employees, and for a longer period new investments,” explains Golubić. For now, he didn’t want to talk about the investment in too much detail. He explains that their goal is to do an IPO in the next five to seven years, and they have already received community support in this. They were supported by experienced IT managers Dražen Pehar, and Vedran Blagus in their ongoing business development.

“I know it is long-term, but we have some firmly defined goals and I think that with my current 23 years, I still have an incredible amount of time for new business ventures and projects, so I can definitely say that we tend to become a leader in the IoT industry,” says Golubić.

With the amazing little KAI robot, he explains, they are ready to begin mass production of their IoT devices. The first Croatian humanoid robot will, in addition to educating young and new IoT experts, also open space for them to embark on further pilot projects with their IoT platform.

“Over the next month, we’ll launch pilot projects based on our IoT platform, with the first gas bottle delivery system providing up to 30% savings to distributors,” says Golubić. The focus of the pilot is in Poland. MVT Solutions explains that this is a market with great potential in retail gas, and there are almost five million end users using gas from bottles. Another major project, he says, is related to Industry 4.0 in one of Croatia’s factories, but he stopped there, refraining from revealing any further details. Otherwise, the Croatian MVT Solutions entered the first investment arrangement last year.

The Grunner X smart electric bike, which they developed on their own IoT platform and was the first bike with the IoT system in the world, was set apart last year as a separate business. Registered in Croatia, Grunner Bikes has developed, in partnership with Middle Eastern company Arabco Smart Technology, a special version of this amazing e-bike for the Dubai police.

“In three months, we’ve developed a state of the art product for one of the most developed police forces in the world,” says Golubić.

Last year, one of the co-owners of Grunner Bikes was announced as Chinese billionaire Xuegao Song, who simultaneously announced that he would build an electric car and scooter factory in Croatia. “A Chinese investor has entered the game as our partner in planned batch production,” concludes Golubić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for much more on Croatian products, innovation, companies and services.


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