Edinburgh-based educational technology startup, Robotical, has swiftly exceeded its crowdfunding target of £30,000 on Kickstarter, which it launched to raise funds to develop Marty v2. The campaign, which is ongoing, has 127 backers who have raised £33,109.
The original Marty robot was a huge victory for the company and was shipped to over 50 countries worldwide. Marty is a dynamic, low-cost robot designed to help children and educators learn coding and robotics skills, and is capable of walking, dancing and eyebrow-wiggling.
Looking to build on Marty’s popularity and success, the company now wants to launch a second-generation robot that can talk, sense movement and includes a variety of new options such as colour-changing Disco Marty.
Similar to his predecessor, Marty v2 can be coded by users ages 8-18 in computer languages including Scratch and Python, is compatible with single board computers like Raspberry Pi and can be customised with 3D printed parts.
The design of Marty v2 is based on user feedback that has been accumulated since the company first launched Marty in 2016. His new features include sound, being able to play back movements demonstrated by users and grabbing hands that give users more ways to interact with the bot and to learn more hands-on skills.
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Myles Bax, Robotical’s head of enterprise business development, said: “Everyone at Robotical is delighted to have achieved our funding goal so quickly. It confirms that there is an urgent demand for an educational robot with personality and we know that Marty will continue to be a hit in homes and classrooms around the world.
“We are now looking to push on and see if we can smash our target to really bring Marty Version 2 to the market with a bang! Marty already helps children across more than 50 countries, including the UK, US, Australia and in schools in Rwanda. With these newly added features, we’re hoping that Marty v2 will expand further with its unique fun and educational approach.”
Robotical CEO and founder, Dr Sandy Enoch, who is the inventor of Marty the Robot, said: “Creating the first Marty was a dream come true and we’re thrilled to launch the new and improved Marty v2.”
Robotical estimates Marty v2 will be available by March 2020 and pre-ordering customers will have input on what Marty should sound like, colour options, and be able to suggest other add-ons.
The campaign will continue to run for another 22 days and can be found here.
Robotical has just opened its first US office in Boston to further target the North American schools market.