SEATTLE — Amazon.com Inc. today announced that it plans to build an Amazon Robotics innovation hub and create 200 technology and advanced manufacturing jobs in Westborough, Mass. The company said it will invest more than $40 million in the new site, which will open in 2021, as it grows its engineering, manufacturing, support, and test teams in the state, which is already home to more than 150 robotics companies.
“We’re excited to grow our teams in Massachusetts and take advantage of the talent and regional connectivity that [Boston’s] MetroWest offers,” stated Tye Brady, chief technologist at Amazon Robotics. “This will be a world-class facility, where our teams can design, build, program, and ship our robots, all under the same roof. This expansion will allow us to continue to innovate quickly and improve delivery speed for customers around the world.”
The new 350,000-sq.-ft. facility, developed by Framingham, Mass.-based Atlantic Management, will feature corporate offices, research and development labs, and manufacturing space. This will be in addition to Amazon Robotics’ current site in North Reading, Mass. The site was formerly an AstraZeneca plant, according to The Boston Globe.
In 2012, Amazon.com acquired mobile robot maker Kiva Systems, which it later renamed Amazon Robotics. The unit has been a leader in the competitive warehouse automation market, as Amazon uses more than 100,000 robots. More recently, Amazon has invested in autonomous deliveries, and it acquired navigation systems provider Canvas Technology Inc. in April.
In addition, Amazon Web Services offers its cloud-based AWS RoboMaker to robotics developers for simulation, faster application development, and deployment and fleet management. Amazon is also reportedly working on Vesta, a household robot project.
Amazon invests in Massachusetts
Amazon said that it has created more than 4,000 full-time jobs in Massachusetts and that it has invested more than $3 billion since 2011 in the state, including customer fulfillment infrastructure, research facilities, and employee compensation. The company estimated that these direct investments have contributed $2.4 billion to the state’s economy and generated an additional 7,000 indirect jobs on top of its direct hires.
In addition, Amazon claimed that tens of thousands of small and midsize businesses, authors, and entrepreneurs in Massachusetts are growing their businesses with tools such as Marketplace, Fulfillment By Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Amazon Web Services. The e-commerce and Web services giant has more than 750,000 employees worldwide.
The Amazon Future Engineer program is funding computer science classes in more than 40 high schools across Massachusetts. It is designed to encourage children and young adults in under-represented communities to consider careers in computer science and serves more than 10 million students across the U.S.
Amazon also said it supports St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in its mission to help families and empower women experiencing homelessness in the Boston area. Through its partnership with Amazon, St. Mary’s Center has raised nearly $2.7 million to fund a new Community Resource Center on its Dorchester campus.
The Robot Report is launching the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, which will be on Dec. 9-10 in Santa Clara, Calif. The conference and expo will focus on improving the design, development, and manufacture of next-generation healthcare robots. Learn more about the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, and registration is now open.
State officials welcome Amazon Robotics expansion
“Massachusetts is home to a nation-leading innovation economy with a highly educated and skilled workforce, and we are proud of the life-changing research and high quality of life that attracts leading companies to invest and grow here,” stated Charlie Baker, governor of Massachusetts. “We are pleased that Amazon plans to increase their substantial presence with a state-of-the-art robotics facility, creating 200 new jobs and employing over 4,000 skilled workers throughout the commonwealth, furthering its continued investment in the state’s economic growth and development.”
“Industry leaders like Amazon continue to grow and expand in regional innovation economies like Westborough and across the MetroWest region, and we applaud their continued investment in robotics,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “We are grateful for this increased commitment to STEM careers and education and are excited about the opportunities afforded by end-to-end capabilities, including design and advanced manufacturing, all in one site.”
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