Bluefin, robotics

Building Robotics Companies in Massachusetts

Robotics Companies in Massachusetts
During the week of November 12th the MassTLC
Robotics cluster explored entrepreneurship in Massachusetts with two events
featuring local start-ups and a new incubator coming to life soon called Bolt.
On Tuesday, November 13th, the MassTLC Robotics Cluster
held its quarterly meeting at Bluefin Robotics in Quincy, MA. This well
attended meeting of robotics executives from around New England included a tour
of the Bluefin Robotics facility and a presentation by Will O’Halloran on a
recent expedition to find Amelia Earheart’s plane using Bluefin’s AUV and ROV
technologies — read more in this Boston Globe article.  New
evidence has suggested that Amelia Earhart’s plane crash landed off the coast
of Nikumororo Island well south of her destination of Howland Island. Forensic
evidence of artifacts found on the island along with descriptions given in her
last radio transmissions have led to this new hypothesis. The expedition was
documented by the discovery channel in a program that aired this summer. See more about the documentary here.

Ben Einstein of the new hardware incubator Bolt also attended the meeting and talked to the group. Over the past decade
building a web start-up has become faster, cheaper and easier in part due to
business accelerators like YCombinator and TechStars. Bolt is looking to do
something similar in finding and attracting the best hardware entrepreneurs and
helping to accelerate their business. Bolt is scheduled to open in February
2013 in downtown Boston with an initial group of 15 early stage companies. The
application process will start in December. In addition to office space, funding
and mentorship provided by other local incubators, Bolt companies will be given
access to prototyping equipment, product design expertise, as well as, help in
finding manufacturing and sales channels. See attached slides from Ben’s presentation here.

On Tuesday, November 13th, a group of
esteemed robotics entrepreneurs talked at Northeastern University about what it
takes to start a robotics company. They stressed that a successful company come
out of a real problem that is being solved with technology. The panel included
presentations by Jeremy H. Brown, founder and president of Jaybridge Robotics,
a startup that helps companies create autonomous vehicles; Charles Grinnel, CEO
of Harvest Automation, a startup material handling company; Marc Raibert,
founder of Boston Dynamics, over­sees the devel­op­ment of advanced robots that
can recover from a slip on an icy patch of pave­ment or jump into a
second-​​story window.Charles Remsberg, CEO of Tibion, a startup that makes
robotic rehabilitation devices. Read more about their presentations here.
The week ended with a great discussion on Robotics
Technology Enablers at the MassTLC unConference on Friday, November 16th. The
group discussed what technologies, like smart cars, will push robotics forward
and into the mainstream. It was great to see so many robotics companies like
JayBridge Robotics, Kiva Systems, Railpod, Neurala in attendance. Check out
some of the sessions and more on the unConference 2012 here.
Next Robotics Cluster meeting, February 2013, Location

All photos are from the Bluefin Robotics 15th Anniversary Party held September 2012.

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