Robotics and IoT Communities 
Quarterly Newsletter  |  Q1 2018
January 11, 2018 - In This Issue:
Happy New Year!

We were thrilled that many of you joined us for our Intersection of IoT and Robotics Conference last December as we discussed how sensors, data and intelligence are redefining industry. To see a short recap and presentations from the day, click here. A common theme was that "Trust Will Unlock the IoT's True Benefits".

We believe there is much to be shared between the Robotics and IoT communities and as we look ahead to 2018, we will be bringing them together. We hope you will enjoy new connections, relationships, and partnerships!

We will be working to host monthly tours of manufacturers in the local area. Our first tour will be held February 13th, where we'll visit Segue Manufacturing and Excell Solutions. Space will be limited so you must register to attend. Register here

Our first joint member community meeting will be held on March 29th at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub. We'll hear from new startup members of the MassTLC community in the Robotics and IoT space and get a tour of the new NERVE center space, that will be co-located with the iHub at Canal Street in Lowell. Register here.

We would like to host a Robotics/IoT Track during the Boston NewCo festival this year on the first day of the event, April 11th. If you are interested in participating, please register to be a host here.

Several of our MassTLC community members have been in the news recently! See our news section below. If you have industry news, are interested in contributing to upcoming content and programming, or know speakers you would like to invite to a Robotics/IoT cluster meeting, please let us know.

Joyce Sidopoulos
Community Manager

Sara Fraim
IoT Community Manager


Robotics Cluster Sponsor

  • More than 350 professionals focused on intellectual property
  • 200+ professionals registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Named on Working Mother's 100 Best Companies list, and by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality 
  • Selected as "U.S. IP Firm of the Decade," 2015 (Managing Intellectual Property North American IP Awards)
  • Ranked as a top firm for Intellectual Property and Trademark Law since 2010 (U.S. News-Best Lawyers Best Law Firms)

    Learn more ยป

Cluster Co-Chairs

Ted Acworth
Founder & CEO

Executive Director

Professor of Computer Science
NERVE Center & Founder

Get Involved!

Join our Robotics cluster email list


Submit content ideas or speakers


Engage in sponsorship opportunities











2018 Calendar
NewCo by MassTLC Host Application is Live!
NewCo Boston's host company application is live and spots are going fast! Apply today to host a session - you'll gain visibility on NewCo's global platform, have talent come to YOU, be a part of the 100 companies representing Boston's best, and meet other movers and shakers to help grow your business. 
Manufacturing Tours
Massachusetts is home to inventors AND several thousand manufacturers. In an effort to help keep what is developed in MA, built and manufactured here, we will work to provide monthly tours. We believe in helping make connections that will provide long lasting relationships and support. For our first tour we will be visiting two local manufacturing and supply chain vendors: Segue Manufacturing Services and Excell Solutions. If you have specific manufacturers you would like to visit, please let us know.

Our Companies In the News
  • Drones and AI: Neurala Named in CB Insights' AI 100 list - Read more here.
  • Endeavor, iRobot's Defense Spinoff, Wins $159M Army contract - Read more here.
  • ReWalk Robotics Aims for 2018 Release for Restore Softsuit Robotic Exoskeleton - Read more here. 
  • Vecna Robotics Awarded First Place for Autonomous Tote Retrieval System in the DHL Logistics Automation Competition - Read more here.
  •  IoT Digital Transformation in the Public Sector, Part 8 of a Series - Read more here.
More cluster company news can be found on the MassTLC Robotics Cluster page here .

A Note From Finnegan

Understanding Data Ownership and Data Privacy to Maximize Value of Big Data

Consumers love the convenience and capabilities of integrated devices, from door bells that notify them when packages have been delivered to robotic vacuum cleaners that send updates to their owner's phones about where in the house they have cleaned, which is great for companies in the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic spaces. But to make these wonderful gadgets work in increasingly useful ways, companies must collect and manage large volumes of user data that include sensitive personal information. 
While consumers want a full feature set, they are simultaneously wary of unauthorized use of the information collected from their homes and about their preferences either by intentional sale of the collected information to third parties or unintentional leaking of that information through loose data security practices. Companies that have failed to adequately protect consumers' information have faced various forms of backlash, from loss of customers due to negative press coverage and government investigations to fines imposed by government agencies and large payouts to settle class-action lawsuits. 
The best way to minimize risk of such negative ramifications is to understand the rights associated with the data sets collected. The most common mistake that companies have made is to assume the company has full rights to determine how to use, sell, market, and keep the user data it collects. The diagram below shows general categories of data collected from device users. 
The company likely has some rights to each of these types of data. For instance, the company may have trade-secret rights to the non-public information in those data sets that would prevent competitors from freely using the data sets. In addition, the company may have copyrights to the formatting and display of the data and patents on data mining, correlation, or artificial intelligence techniques. However, users have rights to the personal information, like names associated with credit card or bank information (a.k.a. personally identifiable information (PII)), home addresses, photos and videos of inside homes, Wi-Fi passwords (shown in red); and that user information must be given protections. Personal information is protected by privacy laws (state, local, or national laws of foreign countries), and any manipulation, transfer, or disclosure of that personal information has liability ramifications. 
To maximize the value of these rights, companies must know what type of information they are collecting and protect it accordingly. Minimizing the amount of personal information collected can lead to maximizing the value of the big data controlled by the company. Appropriately tailoring privacy notices to customers and obtaining customer consent can help minimize the liability risks and maximizing the value of the big data. Privacy and security of data should be considered starting in the early stages of project development. It's helpful to consult an intellectual property attorney knowledgeable about data privacy to figure out ways to minimize risk and maximize value.

To reach the Robotics Group at Finnegan, please contact Linda Thayer