By Mike Thomas  |  October 25, 2018

Robots are taking over the world. OK, not really. Not yet. But they are becoming increasingly prevalent in almost every industry, from healthcare and manufacturing to defense and education.

At robotics companies across America, the co-mingling of engineering and science is producing some truly innovative products — things that do what humans have typically done, only better. Whether it’s welding, teaching, assembling cars or performing surgery, these inventions are changing the way we live and work.

The following 25 companies are contributing to the robotics revolution.


dronesense robotics companies


Industry: Public Safety, Software

Location: Austin, Texas

What it does: DroneSense makes drones for public safety applications, particularly those involving firefighters and police, that can be deployed as first responders to survey fire or crime scenes and provide important data before humans arrive in order to “expand situational awareness.”


Robotics companies
cANVAS Technology

CANVAS Technology

Industry: Industrial, Logistics

Location: Boulder, Colo.

What it does: CANVAS makes an autonomous robotic cart for use on factory floors and in manufacturing plants. Equipped with stereo cameras that have a full 3D view from floor to ceiling, sensors that serve as “virtual bumpers” and bright LED lights that alert people to its presence, it collects and sends real-time data about route times, bottlenecks and other factors that affect workplace safety and efficiency.     


Robotics companies


Industry: Education, Gaming

Location: Boulder, Colo.

What it does: Sphero invented a now world-famous app-enabled robotic ball, which is used in classrooms all over the world to teach through play. In addition to the original ball, other products include the Sphero 2.0 and the Sphero Mini as well as app-enabled racing robots named Ollie and Darkside. The company’s Sphero Edu app is a hub for programming its robots and more.                                                   


Robotics companies


Industry: Aerospace, Energy, Hardware

Location: Seattle

What it does: Sarcos builds three different kinds of robots that perform vastly different functions. Used to explore storage tanks, vehicles and other things while transmitting data, the Guardian™ S robot is operable from long distances, can tackle tough terrain like stairs and also snakes through pipes. The The Guardian™ GT is made for such disparate tasks as heavy lifting and welding. It also has first-responder, logistics and humanitarian applications. The Guardian™ XO® is “a powered, untethered, industrial exoskeleton suit that improves human strength and endurance without restricting the operator’s freedom of movement.”


Robotics companies


Industry: Healthcare, Education

Location: San Jose, Calif.

What it does: Equipped with a speaker, camera and video screen, Anybots robots serve as remote avatars that are controlled through a browser-based interface and connect to the Web over Wi-Fi. Say you’re in Chicago and you want to also be in Taiwan. Your robot — which has a built-in guidance system, live video streaming capabilities and is steered with the arrow keys on your computer’s keyboard — can act as a stand-in.


Robotics companies
Barrett Technology

Barrett Technology

Industry: Industrial, Healthcare

Location: Newton, Mass.

What it does: Barrett makes articulated arms and hands — what it calls “advanced robotic manipulators” — for a variety of applications. The WAM® Arm mimics “human-like grace and dexterity.” The company’s BH8-series BarrettHand™ can grasp an array of different objects. And Burt® is designed for upper-extremity rehabilitation training and robotics research.


Robotics companies
Bluefin robotics

Bluefin Robotics

Industry: Automotive, Marine tech

Location: Quincy, Mass.

What it does: A division of General Dynamics, Bluefin makes Unmanned and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (UUV / AUV) for clients in the defense, commercial and scientific sectors. Offerings include more than 70 different sensors on 100+ vehicles.


Robotics companies
Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics

Industry: Military, Software

Location: Waltham, Mass.

What it does: Boston Dynamics makes a host of different robots that have human- and animal-like dexterity. A few examples: There’s SpotMini, “a nimble robot that handles objects, climbs stairs, and will operate in offices, homes and outdoors”;  Atlas, a “dynamic humanoid” that “uses balance and whole-body skills to achieve two-handed mobile manipulation”; and WildCat, a speedy quadruped that “uses a galloping gait much like a dog or horse and leans into turns in order to maintain traction and balance.”


Robotics companies

Diligent Robotics

Industry: Healthcare

Location: Austin, Texas

What it does: Diligent’s AI-enabled robots are designed to work with people in  everyday environments. The company’s autonomous “Moxi” robot can be left alone to perform time-consuming logistical tasks in hospitals like setting up patient rooms and restocking supply rooms. Capable of navigating hospital hallways and other tight spaces, Moxi is even imbued with “social intelligence” that’s conveyed through its head movements and LED eyes.


Robotics companies
applied aeronautics

Applied Aeronautics

Industry: Agriculture, Defense, Artificial Intelligence

Location: Austin, Texas

What it does: Applied Aeronautics makes Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Its main product, the electric fixed-wing Albatross, is used in a variety of sectors ranging from agriculture and research to disaster management and defense.


Robotics companies


Industry: Pets

Location: Chicago

What it does: Petronics makes an automated cat toy called Mousr. With its interchangeable tails, the robot mouse can be made to seem different every time your cat chases it around. And it’s entirely controllable via your Android or iOS smartphone app.


Robotics companies
amp robotics

AMP Robotics

Industry: Cleantech

Location: Denver

What it does: AMP (Autonomous Manipulation and Perception) makes a robotic system it calls Cortex, which can be used in a variety of environments (mixed waste, construction/demolition, etc.) and is programmed via Neuron artificial intelligence to quickly and efficiently pluck recyclable materials off a conveyor belt. Ideal end goals are “higher throughput, increased commodity revenue, better bale quality, and a fixed labor rate over time.”

Robotics companies

PickNik Robotics

Industry: Machine Learning, Industrial

Location: Boulder, Colo.

What it does: PickNik’s wide array of services include motion planning, advanced inverse kinematics, real-time control, collision avoidance, custom ros integration, 2D navigation, virtual reality, robot modeling, workspace analysis machine learning and more.


robotics companies
left hand robotics

Left Hand Robotics

Industry: Industrial

Location: Longmont, Colo.

What it does: Newly available, Left Hand’s commercial-grade robots are designed for outdoor tasks, particularly snow removal via use of the company’s self-driving SnowBot Pro. Remotely controlled online, it uses GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope technologies to navigate on a pre-programmed path. SnowBot is also equipped with sensors for obstacle avoidance and records real-time data about its current status and environment.


robotics companies
modular robotics

Modular Robotics

Industry: Education

Location: Boulder, Colo.

What it does: Modular makes snap-together Cubelets blocks and the MOSS robot construction system to spur “computational thinking” and help make kids better problem solvers in interconnected environments through play-based learning. According to the company, “Students can design and redesign robot constructions with ease, using the robot blocks to model real-world behaviors.”           

robotics companies


Industry: Robotics

Location: Pasadena, Calif.

What it does: Embodied makes technologically advanced “companion” robots that exhibit human-like care and compassion to enhance individual wellness and quality of life.


robotics companies
honeybee robotics

Honeybee Robotics

Industry: Academia, Defense, Aerospace

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

What it does: HoneyBee’s robotics technology has been used in multiple NASA space missions (Mars visits included) since1983. It’s also a big player in the defense, mining and oil and gas industries, making intelligent excavation systems and autonomous drills and sampling systems, among other innovations. On the medical front, the company’s products include a neurosurgery robot and a robotic endoscopic laser scalpel.


robotics companies

Energid Technologies

Industry: Industrial, Agriculture, Healthcare

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

What it does: Energid’s Actin SDK software enables advanced real-time motion control for industrial and consumer robotics applications in industries where getting to market quickly is paramount.


robotics companies
harvest automation

Harvest Automation

Industry: Agriculture

Location: Billerica, Mass.

What it does: According to Harvest, its HV-100 model was the world’s “first fully autonomous robot that works alongside people in unmodified industrial environments.” Today, more than 30 of them serve major agricultural players across the U.S. to help increase productivity, efficiency and plant quality. Harvest’s robots lesson the load when it comes to manual labor so their human counterparts can focus on other facets of the growing process.

robotics companies
intuitive surgical

Intuitive Surgical

Industry: Healthcare

Location: Sunnyvale, Calif.

What it does: Intuitive’s robots are used for minimally invasive surgery. Equipped with advanced vision technologies, energy systems, stapling and instruments, the continually upgraded da Vinci platform has been used for millions of surgeries since the late 1990s. The newer Ion™ is used for minimally invasive peripheral lung biopsies.


robotics companies


Industry: Robotics

Location: Bedford, Mass.

What it does: Founded in 1990, iRobot makes a variety of smart vacuuming, floor-scrubbing and mopping devices, including the Roomba, Braava, Mira and Create. It’s also involved in providing STEM education for kids.


robotics companies


Industry: Healthcare

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

What it does: Myomo’s powered brace MyoPro is designed to assist those who’ve experienced paralysis or weakening in their hands and arms due to a variety of conditions. The device reads nerve signals from the skin’s surface, then activates small motors that facilitate natural arm and hand movements.


robotics companies
rethink robotics

Rethink Robotics

Industry: Automotive, Industrial

Location: Boston

What it does: Rethink’s collaborative robots (“cobots”) perform an array of functions for several industries. They include: “pick-and-place,” the process of moving parts to and from various locations; co-packaging and end-of-line packaging; CNC machine tending; plastic injection and blow molding and more. The company’s end goal is to help companies “achieve greater productivity, solve for labor shortages and improve quality.”


robotics companies
vecna robotics

Vecna Robotics

Industry: Logistics

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

What it does: Used in manufacturing, warehousing and fulfillment, Vecna’s autonomous robots transport, lift and convey all types of materials in human-centric environments. They move materials between production cells on the plant floor or warehouse. They help warehouse and distribution operators move products quickly with minimal handling. The company also claims its platforms “dramatically increase cart pick rates by optimizing picks and automating horizontal transport, significantly reducing walking distances.”


robotics companies
willow garage

Willow Garage

Industry: Robotics

Location: Palo Alto, Calif.

What it does: A creator of robotics software and hardware, Willow's mission is "to help advance the state-of-the-art in autonomous robotics technologies." Its robots include the PR2 for research and innovation, the service-oriented TurtleBot (it can even bring you food!) and the Texai "remote presence system" through which you can be virtually present in Italy while sitting in New York.

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