Amazon Announced Robotics Innovation Hub Coming In 2021

Amazon Robotics Innovation Hub

Amazon recently announced its plan to build a start-of-the-art robotics innovation hub west of Boston, MA. This move could potentially bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars to the state. Better yet, it could do this while also drastically advancing supply chain and fulfillment robotics across the country.

This is a gigantic step toward a more streamlined and efficient supply chain. Let's take a look at some of the main highlights that Amazon has shared...


Facts about the robotics hub  

  • Amazon will invest more than $40 million into this robotics innovation site. 
  • The hub will be 350,000 square feet, utilizing the former AstraZeneca building in Westborough, MA. 
  • Atlantic Management of Framingham, MA is developing the facility.
  • The hub is set to open in 2021. 
  • Amazon predicts the hub will create over 200 technology and advanced manufacturing jobs.  
  • The facility will include corporate offices, research and development labs, and robotics manufacturing. 
  • This new hub will be in addition to the existing Amazon Robotics site in North Reading, MA. The two teams will work in tandem for research and development. 
  • Amazon is already accepting applications for the 2021 launch. 


Purpose of the robotics innovation hub

Amazon has been utilizing fulfillment robots (for moving and stacking) in their warehouses for several years, and it’s proven major success for their growth and efficiency. Amazon’s robotics team is looking to simplify, streamline, and speed up the fulfillment process in distribution centers even further with advancements in more supply chain robotics.  

Amazon wants to take it to the next level. They’ve haven’t stated whether they will be specifically creating fulfillment robots. We anticipate that Amazon is going to use this hub to expand its robot offerings for a multitude of uses throughout the supply chain, especially as express shipping options (same-day and one-day shipping) become more prevalent.  

This hub is going to bring robotics innovation under one roof. It will allow for Amazon’s teams to gather together to design, build, program, manufacture, and ship robots. This will radically improve the rate of innovation and implementation, which can dramatically speed up the fulfillment chain for Amazon (and other businesses). We predict this will have a major impact on other fulfillment companies’ use of robotics tech as well.  

Tye Brady, chief technologist at Amazon Robotics, stated that this hub “will allow [Amazon] to continue to innovate quickly and improve delivery speed for customers around the world.” 


Why Massachusetts? 

Amazon’s robotics innovation has been centered in Massachusetts since 2012 when they acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million. Renamed Amazon Robotics, this company focuses on researching and developing fulfillment robots for warehouses. Since 2012, Amazon has deployed more than 200,000 of these robotics units in over 50 fulfillment centers worldwide. It was a logical step to keep Amazon’s robotics team in MA. 

Massachusetts is also a highly tech-savvy and innovative economy. With an especially educated and skilled workforce in the STEM sector, Amazon has access to a lot of incredible talent as they’re looking for new opportunities and inventors. 

In fact, Amazon has been highly invested in the MA ecosystem since 2011. They’ve created over 4,000 full-time jobs and invested over $3 billion in the state, including infrastructure and compensation. They also estimate the creation of nearly 7,000 indirect jobs, since Amazon services enable entrepreneurs and small- and mid-size businesses to expand offerings. 

Amazon is also committed to the community of Boston. Their Future Engineer Program funds computer science classes in 40 high schools across the state, and they’ve helped St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children raise over $2.7 million for their resource center.

Amazon has nearly a decade’s worth of investment and infrastructure in Mass, so it makes sense for them to continue the push forward here. 


Innovation hub and future advancements

Amazon’s robotics innovation hub is bringing ideas, design, and manufacturing under one roof. This facility is going to become Amazon’s epicenter of robotics innovation and deployment—and we’re excited to see how this moves logistics forward for Amazon and other key industry players.  

Curious about robots and the future of logistics robotics? Check out these other awesome resources: 

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