When Martin Naumann graduated with a degree in automation engineering in production at the University of Stuttgart, he began working with industrial robots at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in 2005. On his first contact with robots, he found that they were very difficult to use and to program. “I thought back then, 13 years ago, that this has to be much easier with the current state of the art,” explains Martin Naumann. At the Fraunhofer IPA, he is developing a prototype software for programming robots, and is already presenting the first version at a trade fair in 2008. “At that time, the feedback was very restrained, which in my opinion was because most companies had not yet recognized the potential of flexible robotic automation“ says Naumann. But the subject of flexible automation has become more and more relevant in Germany and Europe.
“As a team leader at Fraunhofer IPA I pushed ahead with the idea for drag & bot in research projects. In 2015, we presented our software for intuitive robot programming using the drag-and-drop principle again at the trade fair“ says Naumann. Ten years later, the market was ready: The interest in drag & bot was so great that Naumann decided to found a spin-off of the Fraunhofer IPA. The founding team also consisted of Pablo Quilez, CTO and former research associate at the Fraunhofer IPA, Daniel Seebauer, today Finance and Marketing Manager, who previously worked at Siemens and got in touch with drag & bot through an event and Saskia Tobias, who also joined the Fraunhofer IPA simple operation of industrial robots.
In November 2016, the four founders received the “EXIST Forschungstransfer” scholarship of the federal government, which is valid for two years. “The scholarship was a huge opportunity for us. However, soon after it was on the edge, as Saskia decided to leave the startup“ explains co-founder Daniel Seebauer. The EXIST scholarships are personal, so a suitable co-founder, who had the same product know-how as Saskia Tobias, had to be found within a short time. “Fortunately, we were able to convince Witalij Siebert, who had already written his master’s thesis in mechatronics at drag&bot, to become Product Manager,” says Pablo Quilez. After re-approval of the scholarship, the team was able to work on the software development, marketing and sales.
It was already clear in initial discussions with major industrial companies: drag&bot is an automation solution many have been waiting for. In the first year, the startup was already able to convince well-known companies from the automotive industry, mechanical engineering and the electrical and automation industry of their software. “Our goal is to be the most widely used programming platform for industrial robots worldwide by 2025. For this, we not only have to expand the development team, but also the areas of sales and marketing in order to increasingly reach small and medium-sized companies in the future” explains Daniel Seebauer. By the end of 2018, a VC investor is also supposed to join in – the concrete discussions are already in progress.
What drives us
The following core-values define our company culture:
Customer Oriented: Our Customers always have the highest priority. Positive feedback from our customers defines our success. Constructive, negative feedback motives us to get even better.
Team Spirit: We work together, we help each other and have fun in and out of work.
Performance, Responsibility & Reliability: We work independently and are responsible for the successful, timely implementation of our tasks. We counter challenges with pragmatism instead of using them as an excuse.
Fault-tolerant climate of innovation: We offer the necessary freedom & support to implement new ideas. Possible mistakes and failures are allowed and tolerated, never punished.
Quality awareness: Our products and services meet the highest demands of the industry. Through our quality assurance and testing, we ensure that our products are free of defects.
“Talent wins’ games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
We are a passioned, interdisciplinary team – strongly commited to make robot programming easier for manufacturing companies.