The Nation began celebrating Robotics Week in 2010 with a mission to inspire students in STEM-related fields and to share the excitement of robotics with audiences of all ages. Activities during the 2nd week of April are aimed at increasing public awareness of the strength and importance of the U.S. robotics industry and of the tremendous social and cultural impact that robotics will have on the future. (More about National Robotics week here.)

This year, April 6-14, MassRobotics organized a series of open houses at innovative robotics organizations who are shaping the new Massachusetts technology landscape and the state’s ever-growing robotics cluster. Our purpose was to show MA as a leader in robotics technology development and inspire students to pursue the STEM fields that support robotics technology development.

The Behind-the-Scenes look at Massachusetts’ leading robotics companies included:
iRobot – with a tour of the Cool Stuff Museum and Family Innovation Lab where attendees learned about the company and saw a demo of a robot in action
6 River Systems – the public learned about Chuck, a collaborative mobile robot, and how the company is building fulfillment solutions for the warehouses of tomorrow.
• DunkWorks – part of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Center for Marine Robotics, attendees saw how DunkWorks is accelerating the path of technology to the ocean.
Piaggio Fast Forward – attendees met gita®, the sustainable, mobile-carrier that follows people on the go while transporting up to 45 pounds and learn about the company’s vision of a sustainable mobility ecology with healthy lifestyles and social connectivity available to all.
Symbotic – guests learned how to simplify material handling from manufacturer to store shelf with the combination of proprietary software and mathematics.
Artaic – Attendees discovered how Artaic is using robotic technology to customize, design and fabricate award-winning mosaics for projects of any size.
FLIR Unmanned Ground Systems – as the world’s leading provider of battle-tested Unmanned Ground Vehicles, viewers got an inside look at how these robots help keep troops, first responders and the public safe.
• UMass Lowell NERVE and iHub – As part of the monthly Mass Innovation Nights event series, members of the local innovation community networked and viewed presentations by local startups and entrepreneurs.
• MassRobotics – attendees were provided a tour of our innovation hub for robotics and connected devices and shown how our programming is nurturing the next generation of talent and promoting economic growth. Viewers were also treated to a live demo of Ava Robotics.

The week concluded with a STEM celebration during the Cambridge Science Festival where we had robots on hand to greet young, curious students.

PackBot demonstration at FLIR
Showing off “Chuck” at 6 River Systems
A live demonstration with Ava Robotics during a tour of MassRobotics
Guests watching a robotically built pallet of merchandise leave the Symbotic system
MassRobotics table at the Cambridge Science Festival