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The Robot Report Maps The Future Of Robotics
A growing list of robotics start-ups across the globe puts the industry in full view
By By Frank Tobe, Editor/Publisher, The Robot Report - Filed Aug 02, 2012

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For too long, media coverage of robotics has included a great deal of vague statistical data and conjecturing. In part because of the industry’s rapid growth and the discrepancies between pure-play robotics companies and those who dabble in the business, it’s difficult to see exactly how big the industry is, and where its epicenter(s) lie. 

The need for data-gathering tools in this sector is greater than ever if researchers, investors and business owners hope to stay ahead of the game. The Robot Report is taking up the charge by building an interactive map of robotics start-up companies, and expanding it with the help of web goers.  Read on to hear from Frank Tobe, publisher of The Robot Report, on how he is mapping the robot movement around the world, beginning with the start-ups you might never have known existed:

What it is

This mash-up of our list of 108 robotic start-up companies onto Google’s global map graphically displays how widespread robotic inventions and inventors are dispersed around the world and particularly around major robotic research centers. For the purpose of this mash-up, we are defining a robotic start-up as a company established to develop a concept or product or robotic-related service for sale but doesn’t yet have it all together. They have established a business and are in motion toward their goals but haven’t made any sales or aren’t fully funded, haven’t finished developing the product, or all of the preceding.

Each red marker shows the start-up company name, city and website link. This is good free publicity for start-up companies, good for job-seekers, good for the robotics industry and informative for investors and gadget freaks everywhere. Robotics is happening, and it’s happening at a rapid pace all over the globe! And this mash-up is just a tiny reflection of that revolution.

What it means

Interestingly, there are very few industrial robot start-up companies; mostly the new companies are service robotic companies, a generic term for every form of robot except those used for industrial-grade manufacturing: surgical; healthcare; defense; space; security; personal service; shop assistance; unmanned aerial, underwater and ground vehicles; toys; vision enabled, etc.

These start-ups appear to be clustering in the Bay Area (Silicon Valley) of California, around Boston, Pittsburgh, Tokyo and Stockholm - all of which correspond with the locations of notable government or university-sponsored robotics research facilities, and in and around New York City. Each of those areas have ongoing entrepreneurial assistance programs for technology projects and provide nurturing and social get-togethers with prospective investors and fellow inventors and roboticists.

Many other young robotic companies have pushed beyond the start-up phase into one of our other directory categories shown below. And many more are missing because they are too stealthy to have a web or social media presence just yet or are in a language that is difficult to search and translate. Hence my personal request: if you know of a robotics start-up that isn’t included on the map, please send the information to: .

Although only 108 start-up companies are plotted, The Robot Report’s database has over 1,800 robotics links separated into the following categories:

  • Industrial robot manufacturers
  • Service robots for governmental and corporate use
  • Service robots for personal use
  • Ancillary businesses serving the robotics industry
  • Start-up companies
  • Educational and research facilities
  • Later this year The Robot Report will be producing another mash-up from our database. Red markers will show the industrial robot makers, blue markers will show where service robotics companies are located, and green will be for start-up companies. Stay tuned! This one should be particularly illuminating.

    A comprehensive list of the mapped companies can be viewed here


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