The Massachusetts Robotics Cluster

Click to download the Massachusetts Robotics Cluster report (2016)The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative commissioned an analysis of the Massachusetts robotics industry, a research study that was undertaken by ABI Research. Building off existing sector research and working with an advisory board of top executives from industry and academia, ABI developed a report which: provides an overview of the global robotics marketplace; identifies technical, business, and investment trends; and provides an analysis of public and private robotics business development initiatives in the Commonwealth.

The report provides the Commonwealth with an actionable roadmap for growing the robotics sector statewide, while confirming several long-held beliefs: that the Massachusetts robotics cluster is strong and growing, is supported by the Commonwealth's investment landscape, and is powered by a robust labor force. ABI's research also digs into the Commonwealth's class-leading robotics segments (unmanned underwater vehicles, military mobile ground, eCommerce logistics technologies) and highlights global economic trends that influence the emerging robotics technologies.

Key Findings

  • Massachusetts has 122 commercial companies in the robotics cluster. Between 2011 and 2015, 33 new robotics businesses were created in Mass., up 57% from five years earlier;
  • Mass. robotics companies employed 4,716 individuals and generated $1.6 billion in revenue in 2015;
  • 2015 was also a banner year for robotics investment globally, with approximately $1.5 billion invested;
  • Mass.-based robotics companies received over $190 million in private investments in 2015, equal to 23% of total U.S. funding and second highest of any state, only behind California.
  • Manufacturing was the largest single target industry for Mass. robotics cluster members’ products and services, followed by healthcare and warehouse/distribution sectors.

Leading Massachusetts Robotics Segments

Massachusetts is a national leader in several key robotics segments, where it ranks consistently among the top 3 states:

  • Leads the emerging collaborative robotics segment, which is expected to grow to a market of more than $1 billion by 2020;
  • Roughly 90% of the mobile ground robotics supplied to the U.S. military were developed in Massachusetts;
  • A leading center for the development of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), a segment with a market size of $2.2 billion in 2015;
  • Leads the world as a source of mobile robots for retail e-Commerce logistics and has a strong presence in the consumer robotics sector.