Robotics is emerging as a key technology among companies large and small, and across myriad industries. As a result, MassRobotics, the global hub of robotics, has increased its strategic partnership relationships, bringing significant companies and organizations into the MassRobotics community. These corporate partners provide strategic guidance, help fund MassRobotics’ programming, and fuel the organization’s 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.
New partners represent a range of companies and industries pursuing innovative robotics solutions, and include:
- Analog Devices: This significant partnership includes the planning and execution of a major robotics technology challenge focused on Sensor Fusion and Context Awareness, where robotic systems combine multiple sensing technologies to gather information about the environment as it happens. The technology challenge is intended to encourage system solutions innovation with 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 in the supply chain and logistics industry, coupled with the unparalleled concentration of logistics robotics companies in the region – Locus, 6Rivers, Vecna Robotics, XYZ and others – will introduce FedEx technologists to the cutting-edge technology in the MassRobotics ecosystem and open the doors to future strategic opportunities.
- Husqvarna Group: A key international partnership with this major Swedish outdoor power products manufacturer for green spaces and construction, Husqvarna Group is the world’s largest outdoor robotics company with close to two million robotic lawn mowers sold. Their offering also includes chainsaws, trimmers, garden tractors, power cutters, floor grinders and demolition robots. Through MassRobotics, Husqvarna Group expands their exploration in robotics and creates opportunities for ecosystem startups active in this space. Husqvarna Group is already vested in the Boston’s robotics ecosystem through their participation in Franklin Robotics.
- Honda Xcelerator: This is MassRobotics’ first strategic partnership with a large automotive player. Working with Honda Xcelerator, a program that offers funding for rapid prototyping, collaborative workspace and pairing with Honda mentors for innovators across all funding stages, MassRobotics and Honda will 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, and will motivate robotics startups with specific applications for the clean energy space (e.g. drones for inspecting solar panels and wind turbines, 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.
- Additionally, longtime and/or founding partners, including Harmonic Drive, Panasonic, Locus, 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.