Amazon is planning to expand in Boston as the company announced to build a US$40 million state-of-the-art robotics innovation hub. With this new 350,000-square-foot robotic facility in Westborough, MA, 200 tech and advanced manufacturing jobs will generate. This innovation hub, developed by Atlantic Management of Framingham, is expected to open in 2021 and will feature corporate offices and manufacturing space, alongside research and development labs.
“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,” said Tye Brady, chief technologist at Amazon Robotics.
Amazon’s robotics division has been focused on making warehouse robots that stack and move goods at its distribution centers. And this new facility, according to the company, will be in addition to its existing Amazon Robotics site in North Reading, MA, and will enable them to continue to innovate quickly and improve the delivery speed for customers around the world.
This announcement to open a new robotics facility has also cherished by Massachusetts leaders. Westborough Town Manager Kristi Williams said, “We are thrilled to welcome Amazon Robotics Division to 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.”
However, Massachusetts is not new for Amazon as the company has invested more than US$3 billion and generated over 4,000 jobs in the state since 2011. Boston was one of 20 finalists for Amazon’s second North American headquarters and today, the company has 475 open jobs in the area. The region became Amazon’s robotics hub after the acquisition of Kiva Systems, a startup focused on developing automation technology for fulfillment robot centers, for US$775 million in 2012.
Currently, Amazon has deployed over 200,000 drive units in more than 50 fulfillment centers all over the world. Continuing its development, the company in June this year announced two new warehouse robots called Xanthus and Pegasus, intended to assist with automation in the fulfillment centers. Xanthus, in fact, is a complete redesign of the company’s main robots that have been utilized since Amazon’s acquisition of Kiva Systems.
Moreover, Amazon broke ground on a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center last month in a suburb of Pittsburgh as well as announced plans to open a new fulfillment center in excess of 1-million-square-foot in Channahon, IL.