More Croatian innovation attracting international attention.
STEMI, a six-legged robot, is the first Croatian robot which has entered the test production phase. The team from Rijeka and Zagreb, who on Monday officially presented to the world the first Croatian robot for education via Indiegogo, already has offers for investment from business angels, VC funds and companies from the education sector, reports Poslovni.hr on October 27, 2015.
Marin Trošelj, a co-founder and COO of STEMI, said that they are now focused exclusively on the fund raising campaign. On Monday, in the first seven hours of the Indiegogo campaign, STEMI has collected 38 percent of the necessary funds, or 6,100 dollars. Among the first donors were Microblink company owned by Damir Sabol, then a founder of SPAN Nikola Dujmović, and companies DGS and Logit. In addition, support was provided by Infinum and Nanobit companies.
“Currently, we are not thinking about any kind of investment before STEMI is developed completely, because this is an important step towards having a commercial product”, Trošelj said. He explains that they have decided to use crowdfunding as a global campaign for promoting their robot, to include users in the development process, and to meet their potential users. Trošelj explains that is the reason why they did not enter into discussions about potential investments.
“After the campaign, we will have a sample of about a hundred robots which will enable us to define the parameters for a larger scale production”, he explains. STEMI was created in February this year by the merger of two development teams from Rijeka and Zagreb. The Rijeka team of Pavao Pahljina and Marin Trošelj worked on the development platform for project-based learning. On the other hand, Luka Fućek, Antun Vukičević, Vlatko Klobučar and Josip Vukičević from Zagreb had been developing a robot. They all joined together in the Bura Znanja association and decided to test their concept. “To merge project-based learning and a robot seemed like a winning combination”, Trošelj says.
Robots in education are one of the more prominent trends in the high tech industry, and one of the strongest brands in the area is Lego from Denmark. However, STEMI team says their robot is more advanced than those sold by Lego, and is not meant just for children. “Our educational robot, which we have developed in Croatia, is more advanced and much less expensive that robots sold by Lego”, Trošelj adds.
STEMI can be used by people from 5 to 55 years old. It is based on the open access principle, which means that all plans for the robot are publicly available. STEMI’s servo motor is like those found in larger robots, and can be upgraded with sensors. “The key is to offer an abundance of educational materials in order to attract children and hobbyists, and that is something we are currently working on”, Trošelj concludes.