Dissecting the Robotics Cluster in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


"This is not a traditional market research report. It offers an unparalleled level of depth and detail in its analysis of the many different sectors that comprise the massive robotics industry."

— Pat Larkin
Innovation Institute at MassTech

"Robotics is a magnet for talent, and if you want to be in the center of robotics, you need to be in Boston."

— Scott Eckert
CEO, Rethink Robotics

“This assessment clearly demonstrates that business leaders, educators, lawyers, and entrepreneurs must collaborate to help foster and advise startups at every level in a programmatic way to achieve successful results.”

— Tye Brady
Chief Technologist, Amazon Robotics

“Robotics is a foundational, technology-based capability that has wide applicability and can act as the basis for creating wholly new classes of products, services, and industries, or enhancing existing systems. As such, the robotics sector provides for a wide range of business, investment, and employment opportunities, particularly for Massachusetts, which enjoys a number of distinct, and collectively, unique advantages as a global robotics innovation hub.”

— Dan Kara
Research Director, Robotics, at ABI Research

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) is a public agency working to enhance economic growth, accelerate technology use and adoption, and harness the value of research across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by engaging in meaningful collaborations across academia, industry, and government. MassTech identified robotics as a key innovation-intensive industry sector vital to the state’s continued prosperity.


To nurture and accelerate the growth of the robotics sector and to boost the state’s global competitiveness, MassTech issued a Request for Proposals for technology/business research and advisory firms with experience in developing and executing growth strategies related to industry clusters and ecosystem analysis of high tech industries, specifically the robotics industry. MassTech selected ABI Research to conduct an analysis of the Massachusetts robotics sector, with the goal of producing an independent, deeply informed evaluation of the state’s robotics cluster, as well as the development of a roadmap for optimizing opportunities, reducing risk, and fostering ongoing growth.


Working in close collaboration with MassTech, Dan Kara, research director of robotics at ABI Research, formed a world class advisory board and conducted interviews with various Massachusetts robotics industry stakeholders, including professionals from academia, business, technology, and investment sectors. This work, combined with proprietary qualitative and quantitative market research, resulted in a 123-page report describing and quantifying the global robotics marketplace, emphasizing dominant research, technical, business, and investment trends, and highlighting public and private robotics business development initiatives.

The report also identified and tracked the 122 companies that comprise the Massachusetts robotics cluster; uncovered 33 new robotics startups created in Massachusetts within the past five years; and generated statistically measurable ecosystem status indicators, attributes, and rankings that provide for meaningful interpretation and speak to robotics business development, particularly for new commercial launches—in essence, an actionable roadmap for growing the state’s robotics innovation economy.


ABI Research presented its key findings to select MassTech board members, which included members of the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development agency, as well as representatives from Amazon Robotics, Google Robotics, iRobot, Raytheon, Teradyne, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts - Lowell, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and more. Several business and trade publications covered the event, including the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Robotics & Automation News, and R&D Magazine.

A complimentary version of the report is now publicly available on MassTech’s website for its key stakeholders, including the global robotics community, Massachusetts business leaders, legislators, and other government officials. The organization will reference the report as it benchmarks its current robotics initiatives and develops a strategy to further the Commonwealth’s robotics cluster through the utilization of new initiatives and programs.