This Tunisian startup trains young engineers with build-your-own robots

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What do Ceros, Evobot and Evokit have in common? They are all build-your-own robots designed by Tunisian startup Evocraft to help teach young people engineering skills.

Launched September 2018, Evocraft aims to increase knowledge among young people about technology and potential involvement in future scientific developments.

“Inspired by the new emerging STEM education methodology, our team worked hard to provide easy-to-use concepts and products that help kids learn robotics and software programming at an early age and through a learn-by-practice approach that focuses on trial and error,” co-founder Haythem Dabbabi told Disrupt Africa.

Evocraft has developed a host of robots that can be assembled and programmed, helping users learn the basic concepts of mechanics, electronics and software development.

“Our robots are basically created as different pieces of hardware that can be combined according to the imagination of the kids to build robots that can play music, dance, play football, or even solve a simple labyrinth on their own,” Dabbabi said.

He said technological development was speeding up, and artificial intelligence playing a large role in people’s lives, yet young people often still do not have the right set of skills for their studies or future jobs. Evocraft’s build-your-own robots are designed to change this, and though the startup is going up against international competitors such as mBlock and LEGO, Dabbabi said its prices and functions were targeted at its market.

“In order to compete with their offers we worked on improving many competitive advantages, like price, autonomy, rigidity, stability and the hackability in order to adapt them to the needs of our customers,” he said.

The self-funded Evocraft is growing from its own revenues and a handful of grants and prizes, making money from selling its robots and accessories, and conducting training. It has customers all over Tunisia, and is planning expansion.

“We’ve started working on Tunisia for now as a test market, but we aim to expand our business to the Mediterranean market. We’ve already started preparing for the creation of Evocraft in Algeria,” said Dabbabi.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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