Megi Mejdrechová was awarded the first prize for her presentation on the motion imitating robotics solution RoboTwin, which can be used to teach robots to mimic the movement of painters in industrial paint shops. As a result, painters can spend less time doing repetitive jobs in an adverse setting.
Megi is from Prague, Czechia, where she completed her studies at the Czech Technical University in 2020. Like most young people at the beginning of their career, Megi was in doubt about whether she chose the right major. She was so unsure that she applied for a journalism degree at the same time.
She discovered that her fears were unfounded after the first semester of studying both majors, and she continued the tech path up to a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and then to a master’s degree in mechatronics. During her studies, she travelled to Germany, Canada and Singapore, and she eventually became interested in robotics. She worked as a research assistant at the Czech Institute for Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics after graduation, developing machine-learning applications for complex robotic tasks.
Later, she relocated to Munich, Germany to work as a software developer for autonomous mobile robots at Arculus. In 2021, she established her own company called RoboTwin.
Megi’s inspiration for founding RoboTwin materialised already during her time at university. While working on her thesis, she found out that most small and medium-sized paint shops still paint by hand with a spray gun, which is an extremely dirty, unhealthy and unpleasant job. Her goal was to change this and to improve the automation process and thus reduce the number of hours people spend in the toxic environment of a manual paint shop.
She developed a concept to robotise small-scale industrial painting efficiently and easily with the help of a motion tracking and imitation approach. And that’s when the success story of Megi and RoboTwin began.
Already in her company’s founding year, Megi got involved in the EIT ecosystem. In 2021, she participated in the EIT Jumpstarter pre-accelerator programme, and got awarded the first prize in the EIT Manufacturing category. In 2022, she joined the EIT Manufacturing BoostUp! East start-up competition and won the first place in the category SwitchOn, receiving not only a cash prize but also mentoring and business support from EIT Manufacturing experts.
While working with EIT Manufacturing, Megi and RoboTwin experienced an intense phase of product and business development. To complete the first generation of their product, the company currently collaborates with three partners and two industrial end users. Megi plays two roles: she coordinates the joint forces, and she is at the forefront of technical development.
Her journey with EIT Manufacturing culminated when, in 2022, she applied for the EIT Manufacturing RIS LEADERS competition and got awarded the first prize at the EIT Manufacturing Summit in Brussels.
When asked about what advice she would give to other women and girls considering a career in manufacturing, she said:
A lot of people have an outdated idea of what engineering means, and that’s why so few girls consider manufacturing. Casting and welding are certainly not for everyone, but how about super materials, 3D printing or intelligent robots? This is all beautiful work, interesting and creative, and such manufacturing experts are certainly missing from the job market. I wish everyone could decide without prejudice what they want to do in their career. It really does not matter if you are a girl or a boy, or if someone told you that you are talented in math or not. What matters is whether what you do is interesting and enjoyable for you.
Megi Mejdrechová, Co-Founder of RoboTwin
Winning the 2022 edition of the EIT Manufacturing RIS LEADERS competition confirmed for Megi that she was on the right path. Upon receiving her award, Megi added that she is happy she could present her work to the international audience, she is honoured by the award, and it motivates her to keep working. In addition, she believes this achievement could potentially motivate other girls and women to try out the world of tech.
One objective of the RIS LEADERS – Women Innovators in Manufacturing competition was to draw attention to women leaders in the field of manufacturing. Women have been traditionally underrepresented in this field, but are, at the same time, playing an increasingly important role in the further development of industry 4.0. Megi is one of those outstanding women who could inspire many women and girls to get involved in STEM fields.
Apply now for LEADERS 2023!
Are you a woman innovator? Do you have a solution that addresses manufacturing-related challenges?
Application is now open for the LEADERS 2023 Call. You can submit your application until 25 July 2023.