Mechatronics Canada

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October 27, 2021

The first four companies in the inaugural Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program have been selected by Festo and MassRobotics. The Healthcare Robotics Startup 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.

The robotics companies selected include Assistive Technology, an American startup 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. Swiss firm Bionomous provides laboratory equipment to automate the screening, sorting, and pipetting of miniature biological entities for more ethical and faster research in life science. Eureka Robotics, Singapore-based, develops and commercializes cutting-edge robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to automate high-accuracy, high-agility tasks. Finally, Canada’s 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. These four startups will have access to the innovation centers and engineering teams of Festo, one of the world’s leading automation companies, and collaborating corporate partners.

With the onset of the 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. Many unmet and untapped white spaces were identified, which initiated the development of a MassRobotics 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, MassRobotics Co-founder and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. “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.”

“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 & Innovation North America, Festo Corporation.

The inaugural catalyst program runs from now through March 2022. For additional information visit the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program webpage.

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