Rod Brooks, best known as the director of MIT's Computer Science and AI Lab (CSAIL), also helped to found iRobot and has been serving as their CTO ever since. Yesterday he announced he was stepping down from that position to start his own company, called Heartland Robotics, here in Cambridge, Mass.
Brooks said he has been thinking of the idea behind Heartland for about a year, and that over the past few months things have really come together. He and Zolot said that Heartland embodies two important trends. One is that global labor markets are under increasing stress. The other is the widespread availability of low-cost computation and other components for robotics. Together, these trends have set the stage for a new era of industrial productivity through robotics. The men stressed that Heartland is not about replacing workers, but empowering them in much the way the wheel put more power into the hands of manual workers. â''This really is about putting power into their hands,â'' says Brooks.
No definite read yet on precisely what these robots will do, but it seems like there's a very experienced team behind it. This will definitely be one to watch as it grows.