The MassTLC Robotics Cluster has grown dramatically in recent years, covering a broad spectrum of robotics companies, from large leaders that are selling successfully to consumer, industrial, and government markets to start-ups and early-stage companies that are launching exciting next-generation robotics products and systems.
Advanced robotics research and development (R&D) at ten leading Massachusetts research institutions is fueling the industry’s rapid growth. A phenomenal talent pool of highly skilled engineers graduating from the Commonwealth’s many world-class electrical, mechanical, and software engineering degree programs, including the country’s first-of-its-kind fully integrated undergraduate degree program in robotics engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), keeps the talent pipeline flowing.
Innovations in electronics, hardware, and components (such as sensors, motion controls, and vision systems) have enabled the development of entirely new kinds of specialized, smart automated products with military, commercial, medical, marine and consumer applications. Today, robots perform hazardous military missions and automate manufacturing and warehouse logistics; robotic-assisted devices perform noninvasive surgery and assist in physical rehabilitation; unmanned underwater vehicles are used for oceanographic survey and defense applications; and personal service robots make everyday life easier by mowing lawns and vacuum cleaning. Robots are intelligent tools for increasing productivity, creating high-value jobs for new applications, and enabling
workers to make industries more globally competitive. Nextgeneration robotics will be cheaper and easier to implement and operate, and they will work with people rather than substituting for people.
As new robotics applications emerge, new market opportunities will have an impact in industries that are strategic to the long-term competitiveness of the Massachusetts and U.S. economy, such as healthcare and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, defense and public safety, distribution and logistics, and marine surveillance. Massachusetts has the unique intellectual infrastructure, talent pool, entrepreneurial environment, and track record of success to claim its rightful place as the “Robotics Capital of the World.”