Design Engineering

Amazon, MIT establish AI and robotics research hub

By DE staff   


Online retailer to provide sponsored research funding over the next five years to the Science Hub on MIT campus.

(Photo credit: MIT)

Amazon and MIT announced the establishment of the Science Hub, a collaboration that will focus on artificial intelligence and robotics in the first year.

According to the partners, the the hub’s objective will be to share the benefits of AI and robotics innovations through education and research. To get the hub started, Amazon says it will provide gift and sponsored research funding over the next five years to support research and academic fellowships on campus.

The Science Hub will be administered at MIT’s Schwarzman College of Computing, an interdisciplinary entity the university invested $1 billion dollar to open in 2019. Aude Oliva, a senior research scientist and director of strategic industry engagement in the Schwarzman College, will serve as principal investigator.

“AI and robotics have an enormous impact on every aspect of our lives, fundamentally changing how we work, learn, access resources and services, and connect to one another — so it’s critical we conduct research that advances the field in ways that are responsible, effective and beneficial to society,” Oliva said.”


Amazon says the Science Hub complements existing collaborations between Amazon and MIT, as well as the online retailer’s research presence in the Boston area, including an Alexa science team in Cambridge.

In addition to the hub, Amazon is also building a robotics innovation center in Westborough, Mass. The company says it is investing more than $40 million in the site, scheduled to open in fall 2021, to allow Amazon Robotics to grow its engineering, manufacturing, support and test teams in the state.

Amazon also has plans to expand its Boston Tech Hub, which will include technology roles in software development, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. In total, Amazon says it has invested more than $10 billion in Massachusetts over the past decade.


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