Crover has been awarded a grant from a fund started by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry
The Roddenberry Foundation (TRF), inspired by the life and legacy of Gene Roddenberry, supports innovative thinking, original ideas, and extraordinary people who can change the world. Its Catalyst Fund is awarded to early-stage ideas and projects that have the potential to radically reframe existing problems, surface untapped innovations, and disrupt how and by whom we make the world a better place.
Crover has developed a technology which enables robots to swim through static granular masses like stored cereal grain, allowing storage operators to reduce losses by monitoring ideal grain and pulse storge conditions.
In last month’s issue of YCF we reported Crover’s oversubscribed Crowdcube campaign which raised £337k, and the award of a €495 grant to a consortium led by Crover from the Horizon 2020 AgROBOfood programme, which aims to build a European ecosystem for the effective adoption of robotic technologies in the agrifood sector.
The grant from the Roddenberry Catalyst Fund is smaller than these – $15,000 (which can be used as match funding for other grants) – but has evidently given Crover’s founder Dr Lorenzo Conti much pleasure. The award was made on Gene Roddenberry’s 100th birthday, and Dr Conti explained to YCF some of the background.
Applications to the Catalyst Fund are open all year round, and are made online through a very easy to use portal. Dr Conti comments that “As with every funding application, I think it is very important to define what the money would be used for and to have a clear plan” – in Crover’s case, the further development of the Crover robot and grain storage management system, and the demonstration of the latter at scale in the coming months. He believes that the fact that the Crover robot boldly goes where no robot has gone before…below the granular surface! seemed to fit the remit of the Foundation and of the Roddenberry legacy.