Amazon Inc. announced October 21 that it would build a new robotics factory in Westborough, Massachusetts, to add to its existing robot-manufacturing base there. According to a company statement, the new factory will add 200 new jobs to the area and expand Amazon Robotics’ production footprint.
The new facility will join Amazon Robotics’ existing site in North Reading and focus mainly on producing mobile drive units, robots used to carry pallets around in Amazon warehouses. Like the subsidiary company’s Westborough location, the new factory will house corporate offices, R&D labs, and manufacturing space in the same, 350,000-square-foot building.
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, in a statement, said the decision by Amazon to house the new factory in her state shows that it offers a “highly-talented workforce” for robot development, and noted that the factory would employ people across “a wide range of skills and backgrounds.”
Joe Quinlivan, VP of Amazon Robotics, said the new location will bring good jobs to the area, including hourly manufacturing employees as well as engineers and robotic developers. “We care about the communities where we operate. This is why we are proud to expand high-tech robotics manufacturing in the U.S. and in Massachusetts specifically with the opening of this new facility,” he said.
Kristi Williams, Westborough’s town manager, said the site choice demonstrates “the strength of our regional economy and our workforce.”
“We look forward to a strong partnership with Amazon Robotics,” she said.
Amazon has been building robots for its warehouses ever since 2012, when it acquired Boston-based Kiva Robotics and rebranded it as Amazon Robotics. According to Amazon, the company uses mobile drive units in its warehouses alongside robot arms to help human employees pick, sort, stow, and transport goods. The company says it has deployed more than 350,000 of the mobile drive unit robots to date.