By 3 August 2009 | Categories: interviews



Tell us a bit about Robonica.

Robonica was established in 2006 and has an
R&D and manufacturing facility in ­Centurion,
South Africa, and marketing headquarters in
Boston, USA.

The company specialises in entertainment
robotics, and is in the process of launching
the world’s first entertainment robotics
product range in September in South
Africa and the USA. The company is
funded through a co-investment by
the Industrial Development
Corporation and the
DST-Innovation Fund.

Give us a brief description of
the Robonica products and
what they are capable of.

Robonica’s entry level product is Roboni-i, a funky,
2-wheeled robot that can be fully programmed and that comes
with its own attitude and personality. What differentiates it from the
myriad of other entertainment robots is its capacity to engage in interactive
and competitive gameplay – whether with real live robots or online in a virtual world.

You can use the robot together with a range of game accessories to play single player
action games in your living room, or you can compete against your friends with similar
robots in a number of team games. You can also connect your robot via USB to your PC
and use your remote controller to control a ­virtual version of your robot in multi-player
games against other online players or to ­participate in online missions.

When will the local market see the fruits of your labour?

We will be launching the product in September in South Africa through a number of leading toy retailers.

Playing with robots all day sounds like a heap of fun. What’s the best part of the job?

Playing with robots is fun – we actually pay highly qualified electronic engineers and computer scientists to play games during office hours. The best part however, is the creative part – to be part of the product lifecycle from the beginning to the end: conceptualising a groundbreaking new concept, designing the electronics, mechanics, firmware and application software, developing and refining prototypes, gearing up for mass production, and seeing a team of marketing experts launching the product in the world’s most competitive market. And all that in the midst of a recession…

For more info on Robonica visit


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