An Edinburgh-based education technology company has claimed gold at one of the most prestigious global edtech awards, recognised for its learning tool which goes by the name ‘Marty the Robot’.

Robotical came first in the category for ‘Hardware/Robotics’ at the 2022 BETT Awards in London for its “multi-talented” robot.

Able to dance and play football, Marty the Robot is a small walking robot that makes learning about the world of coding and robotics for young learners, and their teachers, a lot of fun.

Marty and Robotical saw off seven other finalists in the category, a team of 28 judges tasked with selecting the winners from all twenty-four categories among hundreds of entries.

Dr Sandy Enoch, founder and chief executive of Robotical, said: “Seven years ago I came up with a rough prototype for Marty. During my PhD I saw just how engaging walking robots could be as tools for teaching coding and STEM subjects and I wanted to make a real walking robot that could be used in schools.

“Everyone loves Marty because they have a real character – human-like in the way they look and move. You can relate to Marty in a way you can’t with a rolling robot.  In the years that have passed, we’ve been working a lot on Marty, adding loads of new features and functionality, releasing V2 and putting a lot of time into developing and testing complementary teaching resources across all primary year groups, and beyond.

“These enable Marty to be used as a STEM learning tool, but also integrated within other areas of the curriculum.  All our lesson plans are fully linked to success criteria and align to regional and national curricula both here in the UK and in many other countries.

“We have worked so hard to make Marty a stand-out STEM tool that is versatile enough to be used by complete beginners to advanced programmers, enabling educators all the while to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge to better understand and teach coding and robotics in a fun and engaging way. This is the absolute icing on the cake. Marty was up dancing all night!”

The awards ceremony is the keynote event in BETT’s flagship annual conference in the UK’s capital, which attracts over 30,000 educators and institution leaders from around the globe.

Julia Garvey, deputy director general, British Educational Suppliers Association and chair of Judges for the Bett Awards, said: “The Bett Awards always attract top calibre submissions and this year was no exception. The winners are all amazing and the standard was incredibly high – the hardest job we had was narrowing it down to pick a winner each time.

“We are delighted to be able to recognise the hard work of so many businesses in the EdTech space all of whom have gone above and beyond to support teachers and learners during these uncertain times. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the Bett Show at ExCeL over the coming days where visitors will be able to see many of the shortlisted and winning entries on display. “