Amazon

Amazon To Build $40M Robotics Innovation Hub Near Boston

Amazon is planning to build a $40 million state-of-the-art robotics innovation hub near Boston that will result in the creation of 200 tech and manufacturing jobs, Amazon announced in a press release Wednesday (Nov. 6).

Tye Brady, chief technologist at Amazon Robotics, said the new hub will speed-up innovation and will be a “world-class facility, where our teams can design, build, program, and ship our robots, all under the same roof.”

The 350,000-square-foot facility will be located in Westborough, Massachusetts, which is 35 miles west of Boston. It is expected to open in 2021 and will feature corporate offices and manufacturing space, as well as research and development labs. The new facility will be in addition to the Amazon Robotics site in North Reading, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he is glad Amazon is planning to “increase their substantial presence” in the state, which is a base for a “nation-leading innovation economy with a highly educated and skilled workforce.”

Amazon said it has invested over $3 billion in Massachusetts since 2011, generating an additional 7,000 indirect jobs on top of the company’s 4,000 direct hires.

Westborough Town Manager Kristi Williams said Amazon’s presence points to the potential of attracting tech and innovation to a regional economy.

“We look forward to a strong partnership with Amazon Robotics,” she said.

In June, Amazon announced two new warehouse robots called Xanthus and Pegasus. The new additions are intended to help with automation in the fulfillment centers. Xanthus is a complete redesign of the company’s main robots, which have been used since Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012 for $775 million, according to TechCrunch. Amazon is pushing its robotics because it wants to make one-day Prime delivery a new standard.

Robotics VP Brad Porter said the company has 100,000 robot systems throughout its 25 fulfillment centers in the U.S.

“While these robots provide a critical function in our buildings, we are not automating away all the work,” Porter said. “In that same time frame, we have added over 300,000 full-time jobs around the world.”

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