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Funding for teaching aid

Robot production ready to roll in bid to boost STEM take-up

Marty the robot is a hit with schools

A Scottish robotics startup is ready to start mass production of its Marty robot, after exceeding its fund-raising target.

Robotical, based in Edinburgh, has raised £43,291 through a Kickstarter crowdfund campaign, against an nitial target of £30,000.

It will now begin scaling up production of Marty which is designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The campaign drew interest from almost 200 backers and follows receipt of a Global Innovators Grant from Expo 2020 Dubai last week. The combined funding will be used to finalise development of Marty v2 and begin mass production, with the first units walking into schools from next March.

Marty was designed to inspire children into taking up careers in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, by helping teachers in primary and secondary schools to make lessons in these subjects more fun.

The robot has drawn attention from teachers around the world with thousands of units being used in more than 150 schools across more than 50 countries.

Jami Shields, a primary school teacher in Texas, and Kickstarter backer, said: “I backed Marty v2 because my students love coding, and he is a very versatile robot that is easy to use. 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 about v1, backing v2 was the logical next step.”

The Kickstarter funding will help Robotical to finesse new features and begin rollout of the product. The money from the grant will also help to finalise v2 and to scale up operations, with a target of 6,000 new students reached in the next year and further growth for 2021.

It will also help to create additional learning materials and metrics and allow Robotical to initiate a robotics competition with the hope of securing over 100 teams taking part.

Robotical CEO Sandy Enoch, who founded the company in 2016, said: “This money will really allow us to accelerate production of Marty v2, scale up our operations and start some great new initiatives including a robotics competition.

“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.”

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