Massachusetts Robotics Industry: Devens Robot Center Planned
New Robotics Center Wants to Help Startups Test Their Bots – Devens lab aims to fill a critical gap for new robotics companies.
BostInno, Posted: 11/19/14 @10:01am
Rebecca Strong – Staff Writer in Tech
The next generation of robot companies in Boston could get a boost from a new lab that’s now in the works—the Devens Interoperability Playground, a “living laboratory” for advanced robotic systems west of Boston.
Of course, robotics aren’t new to the state of Massachusetts. Quincy’s Bluefin developed a robotic ocean explorer, Bedford-based iRobot produces the Roomba and other household bots and Danvers-based CyphyWorks manufactures flying robots. Then of course there’s Kiva Systems, the warehouse robotics maker acquired by Amazon for $775 million.
The fact is that from public safety and health care to agriculture and automobiles, nearly every industry and vertical has something to gain from these technologies, which already represent a $1.9 billion industry, according to UMass-Lowell. A major problem? In order to bring robotics-driven devices to market, the devices must be tested for safety and privacy, as well as uphold certain reliability in their functionality. No single company has the resources necessary to do all of that—and that’s where the new Devens testing center comes in.