Northampton man sets up printable robots to help school children with engineering
A graduate from Northampton has co-founded a company to create educational robotics.
Josh Elijah of Grange Park studied electronic and electrical engineering at the University of Manchester and has since launched a 3D-printed, crab-inspired robot to get children and people interested in engineering.
The University of Northampton graduate, who co-founded ‘Engimake’, has spent eight months designing the ‘Quadbot’ with business partner Jack Scott-Reeves, which has seen interest from international investors who want to give the company thousands of pounds to develop the prototype further.
The engineer, who has launched a Kickstarter to help fund building the robots, told the Chronicle & Echo that the Quadbot’s function is educational and the robot can be plugged into a computer and programmed wirelessly.
He said: "This was a project I did in the third year as a side project, I taught students how to make robots and they loved it.
"When I graduated, I didn't want to get a 9-5 job so I moved to London, which was a risky move.
The pair spent eight months designing the prototype with very little money but launched it three weeks ago and have so far amassed Â£30,000 in fundraising - Â£18,000 more than their target.
The 3D printer kit, is for people who have 3D printers, and hobbyists, who make it themselves for Â£119. A cheaper version for schools is likely to be priced at Â£99.
Describing the concept, Mr Elijah said: "Imagine a robot where you pull off a leg and put it on a drone that flies around. Pop off the drone and put on a wheel, it’s the openness of a robotics platform that we want to build. It’s exciting,
"Really it's about creating an open robotics platform that is cheap and accessible and it's about inspiring people to get into this, it's really so much fun do this. 3D design, 3D printing, maths and coding are big in schools right now.
"If we can make a product now, refine it, refine it and it becomes part of the school curriculum, that's the dream."
The company was set up to make 60 robots, but has taken 160 orders for April.
Mr Elijah told the Chron that engineering is still a male dominated field but he hopes to get a woman in their team as a co-founder of the company.
He said: "If you look at our Twitter feed, followers are 23 percent female and 77 percent male.
"It is very male dominated and one thing at the moment.
"We do workshops with anyone, it tends to be that there is more interest now from boys and men then there is from women, I think that is historical, it's how engineering has been seen, but it needn't be that way."