Industry experts partner to help robotics startups break into the healthcare market

MassRobotics, FESTO, Mitsubishi Electric, Novanta and MITRE, are excited to unveil the 2023 Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst Cohort. This year’s selection showcases a blend of innovative startups that are poised to revolutionize the healthcare robotics domain.

MassRobotics, an independent, non-profit hub that serves to educate, inspire and bring robotics initiatives, investments and companies to life, along with partners FESTO, Mitsubishi Electric, Novanta and MITRE, are pleased to announce the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst III Cohort. This year’s selection showcases a blend of innovative startups that are poised to revolutionize the healthcare robotics domain.

The program, now in its third year, aims to support early-stage robotics startups by providing guidance, connections, and resources to help them grow and succeed in the challenging healthcare market. The 9-month program seeks to advance the development of robots for healthcare and infectious diseases.  The selected cohort startups are paired with partners and mentors to help them accelerate and reach specified milestones. 

“We are proud to support and be a part of the healthcare robotics revolution. Each year, our Catalyst Cohort startups showcase the vast potential and innovation in healthcare robotics, and this year is no exception. We’re eagerly looking forward to the incredible advancements this cohort will bring to the industry” said Juan Necochea, Director of Strategic Partnerships at MassRobotics.

This year’s cohort showcases RIF Robotics, AiM Medical Robotics, Able Innovations, Dopl Technologies, Healthic, Cobionix, REEV and Limber Technologies.  Each of these startups embodies the innovative spirit and potential to transform the healthcare industry with their unique robotic solutions. 

“We are excited to see such a diverse and talented cohort of startups grappling with important healthcare robotics challenges. They have a passion for developing and scaling robotic solutions that meaningfully improve people’s lives. This is exactly aligned with Novanta’s drive to deliver ‘innovations that matter’” said Kelly Hoofer, Senior Director of R&D at Novanta.

Dr. William Nguyen, Development Manager of Mitsubishi Electric Automation, “Healthcare robotics startup catalyst is a pioneer program to establish an ecosystem for mentoring potential startups as well as leveraging Robotics and Automation technology to the Healthcare industry.”

The Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program continues to grow and a significant enhancement this year is the establishment of the Medical Advisory Board, composed of Kamran Manzoor, MD, MBA – South Shore Health, Weymouth, MA, Michael H. A. Roehrl, MD, PhD, MBA – Chair, Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA and Gopinath Nageshwaran MD, MBA – Sanofi, Cambridge, MA.  Their involvement allows for a healthcare-rooted perspective that allows the program to better understand that the robotic solutions being developed are credible, aligned with real-world healthcare needs, user-centric, ethically compliant, and validated by professionals rooted in the clinical context.

Nuzha Yakoob, Head of Technical Innovation (MIET MIEEE) at Festo shared, “I’ve had the opportunity to form this program with the support of our colleagues at MassRobotics. I’m delighted to watch this program blossom and expand. These very innovative startups participating from around the globe offer a diversity of healthcare technologies that would benefit humanity. The steering committee and I are very committed to facilitating cohort 3 to move the needle towards market entry.”

MassRobotics and its partners are dedicated to nurturing these startups, offering a platform to develop and scale their innovations. The program’s success is marked by each startup’s unique achievements and the anticipated milestones. The Catalyst program aligns each startup with a seasoned executive mentor, offering startups tailored guidance over six months.

Russ Graves, Director of Bridging Innovation at MITRE, states “As a connector between government, industry, and academia, we’re proud to join MassRobotics, FESTO, Mitsubishi Electric, and Novanta to help startups overcome traditional barriers to entry and accelerate their robotic solutions for healthcare.”

“We are extremely happy to be a part of this year’s cohort as we seek to deliver our robotic technology, providing value and relief to our front-line healthcare staff. Working with industry leaders such as Novanta, and immersing ourselves in the MassRobotics ecosystem will bolster our ability to deliver the best technology, with the right investors and stakeholders.’ Jayiesh Singh, CEO, Able Innovations.

Nima Zamani, Co-Founder, and CEO of Cobionix expressed that “the city of Boston is not only known for its robotics ecosystem, but its world-class medical device community as well. We’re super excited to be a part of a program where we can learn and work with industry leaders that are a part of the MassRobotics team, to advance and bring forth our AI-enabled robotics solution in the healthcare industry”

Cohort III healthcare startup companies will be showcasing their innovations at the Robotics Summit & Expo in Boston, May 1-2, and sharing milestones and accomplishments to summit attendees during a dedicated session at the Summit.  Interested parties are also welcome to join the upcoming Healthcare Robotics Working Group meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2024. For participation inquiries, contact

Introducing the 2023 Catalyst Cohort III Startups:

Able Innovations is solving the labor-intensive task of lateral patient transfer by developing the ALTA Platform™, a robotic and automated device operated by a single operator.

Able Innovations Inc. is engaging in a strategic partnership with Novanta through the MassRobotics Healthcare Catalyst program, with an exploratory focus on optimizing its landmark and patented robotic patient transfer technology- the ALTA Platform™. This partnership sets the stage for key venture growth milestones including fundraising and delivering on the demand from short-staffed healthcare facilities over the next 6 months.

AiM Medical Robotics provides a unique approach to neurosurgery that couples real-time medical imaging with a compact MRI-compatible surgical robot to account for intraoperative brain shift and ensure that surgeons hit the intended deep brain targets the first time, every time.

AiM Medical Robotics seeks to launch first in human trials in Boston with its unique neurosurgery robot that enables tight integration of real-time intraoperative MRI, intelligent surgical planning, and precise robotic instrument delivery. Through a strategic partnership with MITRE and MassRobotics, AiM seeks to leverage substantial expertise in regulatory approval and trial design, cybersecurity and teleoperation, and commercialization support to accelerate product launch of the platform.

Cobionix is a pioneering company that specializes in developing AI-powered collaborative medical robot arms for the healthcare industry. With a commitment to improving healthcare access and reducing the burden on clinicians, Cobionix aims to lead the way in innovative, AI-driven solutions for medical care. In a significant development, Cobionix Corporation (“Cobionix”) has announced a strategic partnership with FESTO and Novanta, facilitated through the MassRobotics Healthcare Catalyst program. This collaboration focuses on executing a highly impactful pilot of their Cobot solution, marking a pivotal step in healthcare robotics. This venture not only enhances Cobionix’s capabilities but also sets the stage for a substantial Series A funding round anticipated in the coming year, signifying a major stride in the field of medical robotic technologies.

Dopl Technologies is building a platform for telerobotic procedures to make high quality healthcare accessible to everyone.

Dopl, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric and MITRE, is set to democratize access to high quality diagnostic procedures by extending Dopl’s telerobotic ultrasound system to include Mitsubishi Electric’s cobot and MITRE’s cybersecurity expertise.

Healthic is Latin America’s pioneering sterilization as a service (SaaS) company, revolutionizing the surgical instrument reprocessing industry across the region.

Healthic aims to automate critical steps in its sterilization processes by integrating Mitsubishi Electric’s cutting-edge robotics and automation solutions. This strategic initiative focuses initially on the automated assembly of medical trays, leveraging the capabilities of RIF Robotics and MELFA robots. The ultimate objective is to evaluate and potentially implement these advanced solutions within Healthic’s labs, paving the way for operational deployment and setting new global standards in healthcare and lab automation.

RIF Robotics is building an integrated platform that uses computer vision and off-the-shelf robotics hardware to inspect surgical instruments and assemble surgical trays in hospitals.

In partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Automation and Festo, RIF Robotics is developing an innovative robotic platform that leverages computer vision and AI to inspect and assemble surgical trays for the healthcare industry in early 2024.

For 50m people with difficulty walking after strokes, REEV is making the first smart, patient-centric, motorized knee brace to recover confidence and freedom in daily movements.

Over the next six months, assisted by Festo, REEV’s objectives include building its distribution network in the US by establishing partnerships with orthotics clinics and leading rehabilitation hospitals. Alongside, they will progress the development of their robotic knee brace with the industrialization of their first pre-series and the pre-clinical validation of their solution at MIT’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research, marking a significant step in improving mobility for millions.

Limber Technologies is enabling the 40 million Americans with impaired mobility to remain active, healthy and safe. They are building intelligent canes, crutches and walkers that monitor the mobility of their users. Their innovative technology will power the first data-driven care pathway for people with mobility impairments, including precision therapy and 24/7 support. During the Health Robotics Catalyst Program, Limber will establish formal partnerships with hospitals and insurers and prepare for their first clinical pilot.

Interested parties are welcome to join the upcoming Healthcare Robotics Working Group meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2024. For participation inquiries, contact