Festo Corp. and MassRobotics today announced that they have selected the first four companies in the inaugural Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program. The catalyst is a new program for the global robotics startup community to advance healthcare developments by providing promising companies with investor and customer introductions, access to subject-matter experts, and a range of technical and marketing support resources.
“Our mission is to ultimately improve patient outcomes and the quality of healthcare with transformative innovations brought to market by startups through the catalyst program,” said Nuzha Yakoob, head of technology and innovation for North America at Festo.
For more than 40 years, Festo has supplied motion control systems. The company is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical
systems, components, and controls for process and industrial automation.
MassRobotics is a Boston-based collaborative that provides robotics entrepreneurs and innovators the resources they need to develop, prototype, test, and commercialize their products.
Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst participants
The robotics companies selected by the program include Assistive Technology Development Inc. The Timnath, Colo.-based startup is dedicated to at-home physical therapy solutions that are operable at a low cost and always accessible to rural patients and those who need closer monitoring for recovery.
Préverenges, Switzerland-based Bionomous provides laboratory equipment to automate the screening, sorting, and pipetting of miniature biological entities for more ethical and faster research in life science.
Singapore-based Eureka Robotics develops and commercializes cutting-edge robotics and artificial intelligence to automate high-accuracy, high-agility tasks.
Finally, Kingston, Ontario-based Kinarm uses robotic arms to provide an objective assessment method to identify, measure, and track cognitive, motor, or sensory impairments resulting from injury or disease.
The four startups will have access to the innovation centers and engineering teams of Festo, one of the world’s leading automation companies, as well as collaborating corporate partners.
MassRobotics identifies needs to be met
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of awareness between the healthcare and technology communities was evident in terms of how robotics could be applied to ease staffing concerns and reduce the potential spread of the virus. MassRobotics said it identified many unmet and untapped “white spaces,” which led to the development of its Healthcare Robotics Working Group and the catalyst program.
“To fill these spaces, we encouraged healthcare robotics startups in the following areas to apply to the catalyst program – clinical care, public safety, laboratory and supply chain automation, out-of-hospital care, quality of life, continuity of work and education, and healthcare professional training and support,” said Fady Saad, co-founder and vice president of strategic partnerships at MassRobotics. “The response and quality of the companies were overwhelming. We believe this inaugural group represents an excellent cross-section of the many initiatives in healthcare robotics.”
The inaugural catalyst program runs from now through March 2022. For additional information, visit the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program Web page.