Robotics and IoT Communities 
Quarterly Newsletter  |  Q3 2018
August 21, 2018 - In This Issue:
Hello MassTLC Robotics/IoT community members,

Our fall community meeting will be hosted at Piaggio Fast Forward. Presentation topics will focus on mobility, autonomy and transportation. Register here to attend.

If you missed our last gathering, you can find a recap here. Thanks to Essential Design and Cooper Perkins who hosted a Beer & Bots networking session post cluster meeting. 
MassTLC Awards finalists have been announced. Meet the finalists in the Robotics Innovative Technology of the year category  here and see a complete listing including Connected Product of the Year  here. The Awards Gala will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center on October 3rd. Reserve tickets here.

On November 9th, the MassIntelligence conference will bring together industry, academia and venture capital to talk about opportunities, partnerships, commercialization, and what's next for Boston.  For more information about participating, see the MassIntelligence section below.

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 me know. 

Joyce Sidopoulos
Roboitcs/IoT Community Manager


Robotics/IoT Cluster Sponsors


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











MassTLC Upcoming Events
2018 Mass Tech Leadership Awards
Congratulations to all the 2018 Technology Leadership Award finalists.

In addition to our Connected Product of the Year and Robotics Innovative Tech of the year, Robotics and IoT companies are finalist in other categories, including Company of the Year, CTO of the year, Influential Consumer Tech and Machine Learning in Action.

Please join us to celebrate tech in the community at the Mass Tech Leadership Awards Gala on October 3rd at Boston's Seaport World Trade Center. More details, early bird registration and sponsorship information are available here.

Growth Conference
MassTLC's Growth Conference offers you interactions and strategies from real peo ple 
who are entrenched in the growth of their company every day and who have been at the stage your company is at now. You'll learn invaluable ideas, strategies, tools and tactics that you  can take back and repeat to make a measurable impact.

Join leaders who have built teams, driven sales, created marketing machines, launched successful products, and maximized customer success. Learn more and register here.

We will be hosting our 2nd one-day conference featuring industry leaders giving insights into their pioneering work in artificial intelligence through sensors and infrastructure as applied to consumer tech, healthcare, and communication vehicles.
We will also get a glimpse into the future as we combine the MassIntelligence conference with the Future of Robotics and IoT. We will learn what the local academic institutions have been researching and developing and professors will share their lab's cutting-edge work as they make advances in bio-inspired, collaborative, healthcare and transportation robotics.
We are reaching out to the MassTLC members and asking if there are any specific topics of interest or speakers interested in participating. Please provide a topic, synopsis, speaker bio if you are interested in participating to Sara Fraim and Joyce Sidopolous by September 10th if you are interested in being considered. 

Our Companies In the News

Congrats to many of our companies for making great strides, expansions, acquisitions, and awards!
  • Waypoint Robotics Is Building The iPod Of Robots -  Read more here.
  • Robotic Carts From 6 River Systems Maximize Productivity With the Cloud, Human Pickers -  Read more here.
  • ReWalk Robotics ReStore Soft Exoskeleton Expands Clinical Trials - Read more here. Plus, CEO Talks about Robotic Exoskeltons & More with Bloomberg Markets - Read more here.
  • Humatics & Hanger Partner to Deliver Precision Autonomous Navigation - Read more here.
  • Endeavor Robotics to Provide It's FirstLook "Throwable Robots" to U.S. Marine Corps Under New $10 Million Contract - Read more here.
  • Robotics Community Co Chair revitalizes Ancient Art with Robotics - Read more here.
  • Maersk Selects Sea Machines for World's First AI-Powered Situational Awareness System Aboard a Container Ship - Read more here.
  • Teradyne Acquires Danish Robot Maker MiR - Read more here.
  • Waypoint Robotics Rolls Out User-Friendly Robot - Read more here.
More cluster company news can be found on the MassTLC Robotics Cluster page here .

A Note From Finnegan our Community Sponsor
Government Regulation of Nanorobots in Medicine: A Two-Part Series

PART II: How the PTO Handles These New Technologies

By: Jessica L.A. Marks and Shana K. Cyr, Ph.D.

In Part I in the last newsletter, we discussed regulations and guidance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for moving medical nanorobot products from the laboratory to the market.  In Part II, we explore the challenges nanorobot inventions face when seeking protection at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Nanorobots and the PTO

As we discussed in Part I, the nanotechnology industry is rife with new discoveries. Inventors (and their investors) are keen to protect their inventions with patents. In 2016, the PTO granted over 8,400 nanotechnology patents and published over 11,000 nanotechnology patent applications. A study in 2011 found that many of the top entities seeking patents for medical applications of nanotechnologies were universities. But many private companies are increasing their investment in nanotechnologies, with over 90 companies selling nanotechnology products in the medical field as of 2013.

The requirements for obtaining a patent on nanotechnologies are the same as for any other invention. But nanorobot inventions pose additional hurdles as a relatively new field. First, because there are not standard definitions for terms such as nanoparticle, nanocrystal, nanoparticulate, quantum dot, nanodot, and colloidal crystal, applicants should explain terminology, including definitions and how words are used. Doing so will help ensure the application meets the written description requirement and assist the PTO in conducting searches of known technologies, which will aid in efficient prosecution of the application and could lead to a higher-quality patent that is more likely to withstand later challenges before the PTO or the courts. Second, because the PTO may have difficulty finding and applying relevant prior art, inventors should pursue several patents with claims of varying scope to cover their inventions. Inventors should consider filing broad claims first, and then narrow claims that are specific to the nanorobots they are likely to commercialize. Inventors also should consider claims directed to various aspects of the invention, including claims to the nanorobot, to various parts of the nanorobot, to processes for making the nanorobot, and to methods of treating patients using the nanorobots.

To help examination, applications should generally include background sections describing the state of the art and the challenges the inventor had to overcome to develop the claimed nanorobots, all while taking care not to inadvertently impair patent rights by enabling the prior art with the description. If the application is rejected during prosecution based on an overbroad reference, the inventor will have an easier time arguing that the reference does not enable someone of ordinary skill in the art to make the claimed nanorobot and supporting amendments to the claims to get them allowed.

Finally, inventors of nanorobot technologies may face rejections from the PTO based on a known product or structure that is not nano-sized. Changing the size of a structure does not necessarily confer patentability. Therefore, the patent application should describe the challenges to creating a robot on the nanoscale, the unique considerations in the materials used, and the benefits of using such a small device.

In sum, the PTO process of obtaining patent protection for nanorobots seems more developed for this new technology than the process for gaining FDA approval, which we discussed in Part I. But there are still many nuances that should be considered when applying for patent protection in the field of nanorobots.