Hartera Robotics: Revolution in vessel maintenance automation

In the era of rapid technological development and growing demand for innovative solutions, there is exceptional potential for the development of startups that will transform various industries. That’s why, in collaboration with Lean Startup Croatia, the city of Kastav has launched the pre-acceleration program KASPI2023, aiming to support young entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas.

Within the program, one startup has stood out, attracting attention with its unique vision and goal. Hartera Robotics, a startup specializing in humanoid robotics, gained media attention last year thanks to its founder, Karlo Džafić, who has invested the last three years in developing a humanoid robot, as he puts it, purely for entertainment:

“I wanted to turn that fun into an industry and something needed in the community, contribute to automation. Since I love robotics and the sea, I wanted to combine these two things into one story. Looking at marinas, I noticed that a significant part of vessel maintenance is still done using traditional methods that are time-consuming and physically impractical. That’s how it all began.”

The exchange of ideas and feedback is the key to success

The success achieved by presenting his idea spurred Karlo to approach research and development in the field of robotics more seriously and to turn his passion into something needed and beneficial for the community. Combining his love for robotics and the sea, Hartera Robotics has created an innovative solution with the potential to transform the vessel maintenance industry.

“Participating in workshops provided me with extremely valuable experience and knowledge in developing a business idea and validation,” emphasizes the founder who embarked on transforming the industry.


Through five different segments of the program, he went through a path that provided him with a comprehensive insight into the idea development and presentation process. His experience testifies to one of the biggest advantages of this program – the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with other participants:


“Working in a team allowed us to share our perspectives, and challenges, and receive feedback, which was extremely useful in developing and improving our idea. We also had the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with various validation methods that helped us test and verify assumptions and market demand for our product or service.”

Key steps in validating an innovative idea and next steps


During the program, startups had the opportunity to implement important changes to improve their idea and increase their chances of success. In the process of validating his idea, Karlo carefully planned steps that helped him gather information and check the sustainability of the idea. The first and most crucial step was thorough market research:


“I started researching the target market to better understand existing players, competition, trends, and user needs. I studied relevant industry reports, analyzed market data, and identified opportunities for innovation. At the same time, I precisely defined who my target users are and what problems or needs they have.”

KASPI2023 radionice

After conducting market research, Karlo emphasizes the importance of further testing and revalidation of the idea:


“During the testing and validation phase, we intend to collaborate with a small number of users to gather feedback on the usability, features, and value of our product/service. After conducting tests and validations, the development and iteration phase follows.”


You can find the entire startup development, as well as contacts for collaboration and investment HERE.