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  • Team forming: We came as a preformed team to Talent Kick. In total, 15 students have already worked on RoBoa since we started in summer 2019.

  • Vision statement: Enter small spaces easier, faster and safer to improve search and rescue and inspection.

  • Biggest Achievement: A paper publication, presentations at numerous fairs, and the collaboration with rescue workers.

  • Next Step: Finish the second prototype and make a market analysis.

  • Random Fact: We are really good at destroying our own robot.



We at RoBoa develop a 20 m long worm-like and steerable robot. With our growing robot we can easily enter small and confined spaces. RoBoa helps search and rescue workers to find and locate victims, communicate with them, and provide them with water. This technology can save lives when people are trapped under debris, such as after an earthquake. Furthermore, RoBoa can be used for inspection tasks to sense harzardous places.


Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure


Patricia Hörmann, Co-Founder - MSc (ETH)

“With Talent Kick you get an opportunity you do not usually get during your studies – It’s made just for students.”

Before Talent Kick, I was convinced that I would go into academia. However, deep down I always wanted to know what it would be like to found my own start-up. In 2019 we started to build our first prototype of RoBoa. We started as a team of eight people working on a research project. With time, we noticed that our project raised a lot of attention. This made us realize that we could possibly have a great impact if we bring our robot out into the world.

Founding our own company became increasingly interesting to us as we moved on with our project. Nevertheless, to bring our robot to market, we needed to learn much more about entrepreneurship, market analysis, and marketing.

After many conversations with customers, we made quite a few changes and were able to build our second prototype. Our new robot is much more adapted to what can be used and is needed in the real world and more robust. Within just one semester I got to know an entirely different world. I was able to experience what it feels like to be an entrepreneur. This opened a whole new career option for me, and I learned so much along the way. Talent Kick helped me to get to where I am now. I took so many valuable lessons with me within a very short amount of time.

Pitching our idea to a crowd has become much more natural to me as we have done it so many times now. Also, the program has introduced me to opportunities that I would not have thought of before. One of my best experiences was the exchanges with my cohort members. Learning about their experiences and knowing that we all walk on similar paths was an irreplaceable value that Talent Kick gave us.


Alexander Kübler, Co-Founder - MSc (ETH)

“If you want to explore entrepreneurship at a very early stage, Talent Kick is for you! – It really enabled me to set my first footsteps.”

In the past, I have been part of different projects and initiatives and once even worked on a small start-up idea before my Bachelor's. I always liked the idea of pursuing my own idea within a great team. However, during my first two years at ETH, I was not actively in contact with entrepreneurship. Then, in the third year of my Bachelor's, I took part in a focus project. There we mostly focused on the technicalities of our robot. We developed our first prototype to show how the principle could work. When this turned out to be very successful, our team really wanted to continue to work on RoBoa.

With time evolving we wanted to learn more about how we could turn our project into a start-up. With Talent Kick, we started to explore the entrepreneurial world. We started looking into different fields of application of our robot. We already had a pre-formed team but none of our team members knew what entrepreneurship really was about. After the Bootcamps, Mentoring and Coaching sessions, developing ourselves and our project further, we got a concrete idea of what it means to be an entrepreneur. I was able to tackle challenges that we faced along the way and can now say I understand entrepreneurship and can confidently consider it as a possible career path.

The Talent Kick program is so personalized to the different stages of the talents in the cohorts that, although I am still exploring entrepreneurship, it was a great fit for me. I gained a great network and feel now extremely connected within the entrepreneurial scene. Some of the most important connections I have made within my cohort. We are all working on different projects and are at various stages which makes it an amazing experience to be part of this cohort.

In the next one and a half years, I will finish my master’s studies at ETH and further evaluate where to go next with RoBoa. Currently, we are looking for students supporting us in mechanical, electrical, and software development. If you are interested in working with us, want to get to know us or if you have any questions, contact us - we are looking forward to hearing from you!


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