BOSTON — Robotics is emerging as a key technology among companies of all sizes, across myriad industries. Thus, MassRobotics, “the global hub of robotics,” has added to its strategic partnership relationships, bringing significant companies and organizations into its community. MassRobotics said these corporate partners will provide strategic guidance, help fund its programming, and fuel its expansion, both for its upcoming expanded Boston co-working space and its growing international presence within the robotics industry.
“Corporate partnerships have been a core part of MassRobotics‘ unique startup escalation model and have helped attract and scale successful startups over the last few years,” said Fady Saad, MassRobotics co-founder and director of partnerships.
The organization said its new partners represent a range of industries pursuing innovative robotics solutions, including:
Analog Devices: This significant partnership includes the planning and execution of a major robotics technology challenge focused on sensor fusion and context awareness, in which robotic systems combine multiple sensing technologies to gather information about their environments in real time. The technology challenge is intended to encourage innovation in advanced automation, energy, sensing, communications, and power management technologies. The partnership also gives Analog Devices exclusive naming rights to MassRobotics’ new electronics lab in its planned expansion facility.
Lockheed Martin: MassRobotics’ first strategic partner from the defense community will further support robotics innovation for challenging defense applications. In collaboration with LM’s venture investment arm, MassRobotics will continue to build strong links between the robotics and AI startup community and the defense community. Lockheed Martin is especially interested in the pipeline of MassRobotics’ cluster startups and excited to introduce companies to LM engineers for a variety of strategic and investment opportunities in aerospace and defense.
FedEx: This key strategic relationship, coupled with the unparalleled concentration of logistics robotics companies in the region – such as Locus Robotics, 6 River Systems, Vecna Robotics, and XYZ Robotics – will introduce FedEx technologists to the cutting-edge technology and open the doors to future supply chain and logistics opportunities.
Husqvarna Group: This MassRobotics’ partnership is with a major Swedish outdoor power products manufacturer for green spaces and construction. Husqvarna Group is the world’s largest outdoor robotics company, with close to 2 million robotic lawn mowers sold. It also offers demolition robots. Through MassRobotics, Husqvarna Group expands its exploration into robotics and creates opportunities for ecosystem startups in this space. Husqvarna Group is already vested in the Boston’s robotics ecosystem through its participation in Franklin Robotics.
Honda Xcelerator: This is MassRobotics’ first strategic partnership with a large automotive player. It will work with Honda Xcelerator, a program that offers funding for rapid prototyping, collaborative workspace, and pairing with Honda mentors for innovators across all funding stages. The organizations will together explore emerging technologies in manufacturing, robotics, and autonomous driving. The growing startup cluster in the region is a key magnet for many automotive companies to get engaged through MassRobotics.
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC): This is the first-of-its-kind collaboration between a leading clean energy organization and a robotics organization. It is intended to motivate robotics startups with specific applications for the clean energy space. For example, the partnership could include drones for inspecting solar panels and wind turbines, as well as ground robotics to perform energy and leakage inspection in tight spaces. It will also help fuel studies about the impact of massive robot deployments like self-driving cars, drones, home robots, and logistic robots on the current energy grid and the use of batteries. This collaboration will host startups at MassRobotics, provide non-diluting grants for high-performing startups, and engage large, clean-energy corporates with MassRobotics’ ecosystem.
In addition, longtime and/or founding partners, including Harmonic Drive, Panasonic, Locus Robotics, Autodesk, SMC, Solidworks, and iRobot, have renewed or extended their partnerships.
MassRobotics’ new, larger facility now being designed will be able to support close to 70 startups in the robotics space. The organization’s unique “escalator” model allows entrepreneurs and startups to get established, grow and provide meaningful employment for the future workforce, and to provide ongoing value for partner organizations. MassRobotics is shaping the future of robotics and growing its global influence to expand its community to the world.
MassRobotics is the result of the collective work of a group of engineers, rocket scientists, and entrepreneurs with a shared vision to create a strong, vibrant robotics and IoT ecosystem in Massachusetts. The organization’s mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics and connected devices companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test and commercialize their products. MassRobotics is a partner of WTWH Media, parent of The Robot Report and the Robotics Summit & Expo.