April 10, 2020

Navigating the crisis


Here at Sustainary, we’re proud to applaud the work of the inspiring pioneers in sustainability, across all sectors. This week, we’d like to recognize the work of our CloudHub member, Robotto, and the work they do in the resource sector. Robotto, founded in 2019, is a Danish company targeting the global problem of wildfires by developing drones and robotics that have the ability to recognize and acquire data for faster and more accurate response.

We spoke (virtually) to CEO and co-founder of Robotto, Kenneth Richard Geipel, to get an idea of how their work at Robotto has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What challenges have you faced in light of the present COVID-19 crisis? How are you overcoming them?
Kenneth: We quickly came to terms and accepted the new-normal under the COVID-19 pandemic. We had business trips planned for both Australia and Norway, both of which could have boosted us forward at a young startup age. But as we discussed the situation amongst our team, we all agreed that the health of the world must come before business. Although, we do think this decision was easier for us, as we work in software, and don’t have as much of a threat of losing sales.

At Robotto we have always used the SCRUM method, which made working remotely easier, as we have daily meetings on assignments and challenges. To keep ourselves motivated, we have now included our daily lives into our SCRUM meetings, where we try to also talk about our lives in quarantine. Whether it’s a new movie we’ve seen, we played a video game or just had a rough day, we all talk about it. It has, in many ways, brought us closer together.

How has your company ethos shifted? Are you still focusing on achieving the same goals as before, or are you focusing on new goals?
Kenneth: The vision of Robotto is still the same. We want to make the world more sustainable through robotics. And we’re proving the technology is at a level where it can make a real impact with AWRA, our Autonomous Wildfire Recognition and Analytics platform. We are still hard at work at developing this tool for firefighters around the world, to help put out wildfires faster.
How can people help your startup continue to develop?
Kenneth: We want to establish a community who either have the same beliefs as we do, or that are interested in how robotics can be implemented to target the Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, the best way people can help us, is to start engaging with us. At the same time we all have an engineering background, which is why we have an intern position available at Robotto as a community manager. Within this position, you will be able to help develop a community, make everyone come together and share ideas.
Visit Robotto’s profile in the Cloud Hub
How has the crisis altered where you see your business 2 years from now?
Kenneth: In the worst-case scenario, this has shifted us back a year. Due to the nature of what our product is solving, we risk not being able to reach our potential customers in the northern hemisphere this fire season.
What advice can you share with others about maintaining momentum at this time?
Kenneth: We generally disagree with the premise that this time is about momentum. What we are doing in Robotto is showing empathy to one another. It’s okay to have an off day, it’s okay if your personal life gets in the way. Everything will be delayed, including agreements with our partners, it is just something we have to accept. By doing this, we hope to come out of this pandemic with a stronger relationship to one another and our collaborators.
“Give me peace of mind to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to see the difference”
– Markus Aurelius

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