SEATTLE — Amazon today announced plans to build a $40 million Amazon Robotics innovation hub in Westborough, Mass., creating 200 technology and advanced manufacturing jobs. Set to open in 2021, the 350,000-square-foot facility will let the company’s robotics division to continue to grow its engineering, manufacturing, support and testing teams within Massachusetts.
Developed by Atlantic Management of Framingham, the new facility will include corporate offices, research and development labs, and manufacturing space, Amazon said. The new site will be in addition to the Amazon Robotics current site in North Reading, and will serve together “as the company’s epicenter of robotics innovation.” The company said it has created more than 4,000 full-time jobs in Massachusetts, and has invested more than $3 billion in the state since 2011.
“We’re excited to grow our teams in Massachusetts and take advantage of the talent and regional connectivity that MetroWest offers,” said 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.”
Massachusetts leaders, including Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov Karyn Polito, provided positive statements regarding Amazon’s plans for the new innovation center. “We are thrilled to welcome Amazon Robotics Division to Westborough,” said Kristi Williams, town manager of Westborough. “The investment of this international company in our community demonstrates the ability of the regional economy and its workforce to attract innovation and technology. We look forward to a strong partnership with Amazon Robotics.”
Amazon created Amazon Robotics as a result of its 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems, which was founded in 2003. The division helps automate fulfillment center operations within Amazon (they don’t sell systems to other companies) using several methods of robotic technology, including autonomous mobile robots, control software, language perception, power management, computer vision, depth sensing, machine learning, object recognition, and semantic understanding of commands. Earlier this year, Amazon acquired Boulder, Colo.-based Canvas Technology, which was developing autonomous carts.