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Sophisticated Humanoids, Robotic Furniture: Boston Stands At Forefront Of Innovation

BOSTON (CBS) -- Meet Valkyrie, basically the most sophisticated humanoid ever built.

She's designed by NASA, can walk over rough and hilly terrains and perform complicated tasks with her hands.

The $2.5 million robot is housed at MassRobotics in Boston, which is a non-profit co-founded by Joyce Sidopolous to support startups in the robotics industry.

"We help them meet manufacturers, we help them meet venture capitalists, we help them meet people who can help market their products and collaborate together," said Sidopolous about MassRobotics.

Valkyrie's not the only teaching tool at MassRobotics. A robot named Baxter can perform all kinds of sophisticated functions by mimicking human motions.

baxter robot
Baxter the robot (WBZ)

In addition to cool collaborations like Baxter and Valkyrie, MassRobotics, which began only in 2016, already houses more than 30 startups at a building in Boston, and it's expanding.

Another company at MassRobotics is Ori which is literally robotic furniture. It can transform your bedroom into your living room at the touch of a button.

furniture robot
The robotic furniture (WBZ)

"We can just press the living room button, and in an apartment that you don't need any more, you can just collapse," Hasier Larrea of Ori said.

Innovations in Boston aren't just limited to robotics. Greater Boston has become the Silicon Valley of the East Coast.

"The area of Kendall Square is probably the most innovative square mile on the planet," said Stas Gayshan, managing director of the Cambridge Innovation Center. The center houses and supports dozens of startups.

Android started at the Cambridge Innovation Center. Another company with roots at the center is Zippity Cars created by Air Force Veteran Ed Warren.

Warren designed a mobile trailer that is a full-service auto shop on wheels.

The Zippity auto shop on wheels (WBZ)

The trailer sits in office parks around New England and you can have your car serviced while you are at work.

"We're able to aggregate demand and do it in a way that then lowers the cost to you, the customer, and it's no extra effort to you," Warren said. "You're just sitting in the office like you normally would."

How Zippity Works

Innovations like this are becoming very common in an area with the densest population of universities in the country.

From robots that help paralyzed people walk, or logistic companies that get products to you much faster, to clothes that can light up or change colors, to social media giving you interactive audio tours on your public bus ride; what's clear is that Boston is in the midst of a tech boom.

How might these new innovations make a difference in your life? Tell us your story by emailing

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