There's been quite a bit going on with the Boston-based robotics companies lately. Here's a quick roundup:
- iRobot can't seem to go long without making news, and the last couple weeks have been no exception. Not only did CTO Rod Brooks leave to start a new company (as reported last week), but a couple new Roomba versions were released and news of another underwater robotic technology acquisition was announced. The Nekton purchase, together with the Seaglider license they acquired back in June, shows they're making an aggressive grab for a piece of the UUV market.
- A company called North End Technologies has spent the last couple years showing up at robotics-related events in Boston but they haven't shed any light on what they've been up to. A recent Mass High Tech article says they're "incorporating robotics into multi-media technology", and their website says they're going to "dramatically change how people interact with the world." Perhaps they're jumping on to the telepresence bandwagon?
- Roomba designer Joe Jones left iRobot several years ago to start a company called Q Robotics with a mission to build "low-cost, practical robots." Now Q Robotics is Harvest Automation, and their first product is a small robot that can pick up and move potted plants that may be used in greenhouses or nurseries to organize their stock.