Icebreakers blog
Robotics in Latvia: between inspiration and struggles
Today, robotics is entering into almost all spheres of our lives. In Latvia robotics industry, also, excite us with new robots and ideas. Let us introduce you to some of them: a surface-disinfecting robot (Riga Technical University (RTU) team project), an undesirable plants-fighting robot (Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies team project), and a cooking robot (RoboEatz team). Of course, the process of developing a robot is not easy and depends on many factors. But what exactly inspires or obstruct these teams in Latvia? Let's find this out together!
Request from the industry

When the RTU team started working on a project application affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the subject of the study was identified surface and air sterility at medical facilities. The team tried to find partners with developments on this kind of robot and it turned out that the RTU faculty of computer science and information technology had already worked on it. In general, the RTU team underlines that moral support from universities and industry helps a lot. But the lack of skills in STEM fields, resulting in a deficit of engineers slows robotics development in Latvia in total. However, the RTU team continues to work on the robot by believing that "this robot, like all robots, will free people from mechanical work and will allow them to turn more to creative work that homo sapiens do better".

Biological farming

The choice of an undesirable plant-fighting robot was prescribed by the fact that many farmers in Latvia wish to farm biologically and eco-friendly without using chemicals. Of course, the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies team in co-operation with other institutions and farms faced some struggles during the work process and admires that the easy and fast way for developers to get financing will speed up the whole robotics industry in Latvia. Unfortunately, bureaucracy in Latvia is not compatible with the pace of technological development in the world. Still, the open-mindedness and support from robotics enthusiasts have a positive impact on the team. And, of course, "nothing can be more excited and inspirational for the team than to see how the robot rides the first meters." It is important to see that the work on the robot was worth it and should only be taken forward.

To be among the first

The RoboEatz team is not new in the food industry and already has experience in this field for more than 10 years. The team after observations of the industry found out that the combination of robotics and food is a large market sector where they want to become major players from Latvia in co-operation with few other countries. Though the team underlines the lack of people, manufacturers, and shippers in Latvia, the RoboEatz team stay optimistic and do not plan to give up just yet. Their desire to be the best of the best drives the team spirit and is really inspirational for the other developers in Latvia.

These are only a few robotics success stories in Latvia. As we can see, Latvia has a big potential in robotics and shall develop it further. You can also impact this industry by supporting locals or even make your own robot. Just find your dream team, partners and stay inspired!

The article was created in cooperation with the #futurecreators program implemented in the incubator, the author of the article: Edgars Cebaks.
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