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Robotics startups should be aware of market and support opportunities, says MassRobotics’ Fady Saad at ESC. BOSTON — Despite high consumer expectations, fears of job displacement, and numerous challenges for startups, the robotics industry is healthy and has a lot of growth potential, said Fady Saad, co-founder and director of partnerships at MassRobotics, at the Embedded Systems Conference here yesterday. The ESC event is co-located with the BIOMEDevice Conference and Design & Manufacturing New England . Saad’s session on “Robotics Between Fantasy and Reality” was part of a series on the expo floor examining the state of robotics and dispelling common misconceptions. MassRobotics is an organization dedicated to helping the robotics community by providing resources to innovative startups and promoting standards and collaboration in the Massachusetts robotics cluster, which includes about 150 companies. Saad also discussed MassRobotics’ partnerships and how it can help startups with The Robot Report . Robotics developers might be discouraged by slowing funding of smaller robotics startups in the past year, but they and investors need to understand the robotics ecosystem, he said. “There’s still plenty of money at the pre-seed stage and from Series C onwards, but venture capitalists are now more conscious of risk and the need for sizable investments at Series A,” he said. “We need investors who understand the technology and are willing to make those bets.” Saad pointed to four application areas where investor and customer interest remain strong: advanced manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, construction, and healthcare. Starting with industrial automation In manufacturing, the rise of collaborative robot (cobot) arms and diverse end effectors promises to democratize automation by enabling small and midsize enterprises, particularly in New England, to more easily use robots, he said. Saad cited Universal Robots (owned by Teradyne) and several local gripper makers as leaders […]
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