It was announced today that a robot designed to inspire school children to pursue STEM careers is set to go into full production, thanks to the successful completion of a Kickstarter campaign.
Robotical, the edtech start-up behind Marty the robot, saw their £30,000 target bettered by almost 50%, with funds from almost 200 backers adding up to a final total of £43,291.
The news follows last week’s announcement that Robotical had won a Global Innovators Grant from Expo 2020 Dubai.
The combined funds will be used to complete development of Marty v2 and begin mass production, with the first units slated to walk into schools next March. Robotical is also developing a new learning platform to help make the finished product as user-friendly as possible.
More than 150 schools in over 50 countries helped test and offer feedback on the first version of the robot, leading to the updated iteration being given such new features as smart sensors to copy movement, obstacle detection, Bluetooth compatibility, grabbing hands, and sound capability.
One of the Kickstarter backers was Jami Shields, a primary school teacher at La Villita Elementary, Texas.
“I backed Marty v2 because my students love coding, and he is a very versatile robot that is easy to use,” she said.
“They were able to code from day one, right out of the box, using skills that build on what we are doing in our classroom coding lessons. My students got so excited, backing v2 was the logical next step.
“The students literally cheered when I told them I backed the robot on Kickstarter and that he was fully funded.”
A brief history of Marty the Robot
Robotical aim to reach 6,000 new students reached in the coming year, as well as establish a robotics competition for 100+ teams.
“Having witnessed the joy that Marty has spread in schools, I am looking forward to seeing how pupils and teachers respond to the new features we have been working on for v2,” said Sandy Enoch, founder and CEO of Robotical.
“We hope that by making STEM subjects as engaging as possible, we can inspire children into taking up careers in these industries and plugging the skills gap in the job market. Failing to do so will have serious repercussions on the UK in the long term, so hopefully our ongoing product development will be able to help create excitement in these subjects at a young age.”