Robots, drones, body scanners, 3D printers, hi-tech models and hydroponic systems filled the giant Skolkovo Technopark this week, as tech companies from all over Russia demonstrated their wares at the Open Innovations forum.

VIST Mining Technology's model of its 'intelligent mine,' in which all processes are robotised. Photo:

One of the biggest stands was a model of an open cast mine, complete with miniature trucks carrying loads of coffee beans, presented by VIST Mining Technology. The model illustrated the company’s technology for a robotised mine, using technology such as autonomous dump trucks and remote-controlled excavators, bulldozers and loaders.

The technology enables mining to be carried out in hazardous or adverse climatic conditions, or in remote areas where mining companies face the problem of a lack of personnel.

Components of a smart home system made by WireGeo. Photo:

“The foundation for a robotised mine that operates without people is our company’s main product: a system for managing the mining transport system and optimization of production processes,” David Jonjua, marketing and advertising manager at Vist Group, told

“Robotics alone cannot bring maximum benefits to a company: there must be joined-up work and algorithms to optimize the work, when we know where every item of machinery is and where it needs to go, to eliminate idle time for the technology, so there is no waiting time for loading and unloading,” explained Jonjua.

“The system calculates all of this on its own and organizes the machinery so that it is work is even and regular, so that it [equipment] is used as efficiently as possible.”

VIST Mining Technology, a resident startup of the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster that has an office in the Skolkovo Technopark, is the innovative wing of VIST Group.

VIST Group’s mine management system – so far, without the use of robots – is used by major mining enterprises in Russia, as well as in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Morocco, said Jonjua.

He said the company’s goal in attending the Open Innovations forum was to increase awareness of the company, and attract potential investors, customers and partners for individual elements of the system.

“We’d also like to show that we’re all working for the innovations cause, that no one’s resting on their laurels,” he said.

Anisoprint CEO Fyodor Antonov with his 3D printer that uses continuous fiber reinforced polymer composites. Photo:

One of the startups representing the agrotech companies within Skolkovo’s biomed cluster was Fungipack, which makes bio pesticides. The startup was showcasing its powder that, when mixed with water and applied to crops, protects them from insects such as locusts. The active bio-ingredient is placed inside a microcontainer, which protects the bio-ingredient from sun radiation and prolongs its performance.

Fungipack made its first sales this year, and was attending Open Innovations with the aim of finding investment and partners, Andrei Fokin, the company’s co-founder, told

Inventions from across Russia on display in the Skolkovo Technopark during Open Innovations. Photo:

Skolkovo’s energy cluster was represented by companies including Ecolight, which was demonstrating its device for preventing fires. Seventy percent of indoor fires are caused by electrical faults, according to the company. Its UZIs-S1 device, fitted in the fusebox, recognises sparking and turns off the network from the electrical source, preventing the outbreak of a fire.

Chutky Dom, a resident of the IT cluster, presented its system for automating processes in the home. The system consists of a kit of sensors that collect data, a cloud service that uses machine learning to analyse the data, and a mobile app. 

In total, dozens of Skolkovo startups and other innovative companies were presenting their products and technologies at Open Innovations. The Skolkovo startups also included ExoAtlet, which makes medical rehabilitation exoskeletons; Motorica, which makes 3D-printed prosthetic limbs; Bonaka, the maker of a biologically friendly substance for removing deposits and buildups from inside heating pipes and industrial equipment; Koshelek (CardsMobile), an app that enables users to store all their banking, loyalty and transport cards in their phone; Anisoprint, the maker of an innovative 3D printer; and DRD, which has devised an express test for diagnosing ischemic strokes and brain damage.