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Global Robotics Firm Inches Closer to Launch in Rwanda

Fabrice Goffin, the Belgian owner of a company specialising in new robotics solutions, on Friday gave The New Times Rwanda, a demonstration of what service robots, “humanoid looking” creations with machine intelligence cable of detecting and talking with humans, can do to make our lives easier.

Goffin arrived in the country earlier last week and plans to leave on Monday after wrapping up a series of meetings, and was making necessary arrangements such that he launches operations in Rwanda early next year.

‘’We could introduce it for some teachers to test it in different districts in Rwanda and based on these tests, if it is really in the STEM direction as we are expecting, then we could have children start programming with ZoraRobot.”

The plan, as he explained last month, is to introduce robotics to Rwanda, as a gateway to Africa

He told The New Times that he has already met some people in the country, including local robotics enthusiast Benjamin Karenzi who earlier this year tried to introduce a programmable robot designed to help teach coding to kids.

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Goffin said: “He [Karenzi] will be our contact person here in order to introduce ZoraBots Africa. We are going to establish ZoraBots Africa which is going to be a very big step here. We are going to seek potential robotics tests in different schools and we are looking to start with, maybe one school per district and if that goes well we shall expand to the rest of Africa, but starting from Rwanda.”

“This means that if we would install additional robots and additional services in other schools, whether it is in Rwanda or other countries in Africa, the after-sales and the service department will be in Rwanda implying we could create 40 to 60 jobs here locally. These are the discussions am having with local partners.”

Once they launch, what they will be doing is not production because, he explained, “we don’t even produce these in Europe.”

“This is really fine electronics that we are not even able to produce in Europe. It is a Chinese and Japanese specialty.”

Unlike all the other robots, a service robot is like a humanoid robot that serves humans. It can be used in shops, to relay information or in hospitals to motivate children to do exercises, and in schools to teach programming.

Goffin started his company in 2011 with his best friend and co-CEO, Tommy Deblieck.

They sold their first robot in 2013 and, today, they employ more than 50 engineers and are the world’s leading company in assistant robots and robotic software.

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Written by How Africa

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