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6 Cool Hardware Robots Ready to Change Southeast Europe

6 Cool Hardware Robots Ready to Change Southeast Europe,
Image credit: Canva
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Have you ever expected to see robots working in the nearest supermarket or to receive your online purchase from an unmanned drone? Well, expect the unexpected! 

Currently, with the development of deep tech such as AI and robotics, some tasks usually handled by humans are being replaced by new models of innovative hardware robots designed to work more efficiently, freeing up humans for more strategic and creative endeavors.

Southeast Europe is known for its advances and innovations in areas such as AI and robotics. Romania’s young national robotics team wins international competitions every year. And Bulgaria recently celebrated the opening of INSAIT, the first AI institute in SEE.  

When it comes to applications, manufacturing is a great example of a sector where robots will be used in the near future. It is expected that with their adoption, manufacturers will see improvements in productivity and costs. Other applications of automated machines are expected in sectors such as healthcare, transport, and agriculture. 

In this listicle, you can find out which are some of the most innovative hardware robots launched on the market by Southeast European startups, scaleups, and companies. 


Name: SeaClear

Year of founding: 2020

Headquarters: Delft, South Holland

Founders: Lucian Bosoniu (Manager of the project)

What it does: A robotic system designed to collect waste from the bottom of the ocean with the help of underwater inspection robots, a ship on the surface, and an atmospheric drone working together.

Total funding amount: €5M (Horizon 2020)

Key investors: TU Delft, TU Munich, the University of Dubrovnik, Technical University of Cluj Napoca, the Hamburg Port Authority, Subsea Tech, DUNEA Regional Agency


Name: The Black Swan (designed by Dronamics)

Year of founding: 2014

Headquarters: Sofia, Bulgaria

Founders: Svilen Rangelov and Konstantin Rangelov (founders of Dronamics)

What it does: An unmanned aircraft transporting shipments of up to 350 kg at a 2500 km distance for a cheaper price. The first air cargo to receive an European operational license allowing it to operate throughout the whole EU region.

Read more:  Mapping Carbon Technology Startups and Projects in Central and Eastern Europe

Total funding amount: $17M

Key investors: Eleven Ventures, SeedBlink


Name: Tokinomo

Year of founding: 2018

Headquarters: New York, USA (most team members are based in Romania)

Founders: Ionut Vlad (founder and CEO)

What it does: An in-store robot that provides brands with innovative retail marketing options by creating more customer interaction with the product at the shelf. The robot makes the products on shelf pop when customers pass by and gives voice to the message of the brand. 

Total funding amount: $2.5M

Key investors: Early Game Ventures, TechAngels Romania


Name: Trey (designed by Gideon Brothers)

Year of founding: 2017 (launched Trey in 2021)

Headquarters: Zagreb, Croatia

Founders: Edin Kočo, Josip Ćesić, Kruno Stražanac, and Matija Kopić

What it does: An autonomous robot with visual navigation that loads and unloads pallets for a smaller amount of time. It can be controlled from any type of device.

Total funding amount: $37.5M

Key investors: Pentland Ventures, Peaksjah, Koch Disruptive Technologies


Name: Animoto (designed by Giga Automata)

Year of founding:  2018

Headquarters: Sofia, Bulgaria

Founders: Georgi Georgiev and Georgi Arabadzhiev

What it does: The first Bulgarian industrial robot specializing in helping companies in manufacturing operations handle tasks affordably and sustainably. 

Total funding amount: €2500

Key investors: – unknown


Name: Narrow Reef Equipment (NRE) (designed by Croatian DOK_ING)

Year of founding: late 1991

Headquarters: Zagreb, Croatia

Founders:  Vjekoslav Majetic (Founder and Owner of DOK-ING)

What it does: An innovative robot which helps in underground mining by adding a positive impact on the environment at the same time. NRE is designed to make the workers’ duty more risk-free by replacing the their presence in dangerous parts of the mine. 

Total funding amount: undisclosed

Key investors: SEAF

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