Switzerland: a thriving hub for innovation in robotics


Switzerland has emerged as a hotbed in the robotics industry, capitalising on its legacy of precision engineering and a robust ecosystem of innovative start-ups and research.

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This shift from traditional craftsmanship to cutting-edge technological innovation has positioned Switzerland at the forefront of the global robotics scene.

Science foundations fuel industry advances

Institutions like ETH Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne are not just educational pillars but also incubators for groundbreaking robotics projects. With facilities like the Autonomous Systems Lab and the Learning Algorithms and Systems Lab, these universities are pivotal in blending academic rigour with practical applications. This synergy fuels advancements that propel the entire industry forward, supported by Switzerland's trailblazing efforts in artificial intelligence, as previously reported by swiss.tech.

ABB: a legacy of innovation in robotics

The Swiss multinational ABB exemplifies the country's leadership, having pioneered robotics-based automation globally since launching the first commercial all-electric robot in 1974. Today, ABB is one of the world's leading robotics and machine automation suppliers and employs over 11,000 people in more than 50 countries.

The Silicon Valley of robotics

With over 100 companies and start-ups operating in the Greater Zurich Area alone, Switzerland is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of Robotics: at the forefront of the world's fourth industrial revolution, it is now rivalling California in the research race. Global giants such as Disney, Google, Apple and Meta are aware of Switzerland's burgeoning tech landscape, and have set up their R&D hubs there. This organically sparks further innovation and cultivates a start-up-nurturing ecosystem.

Strategic investments driving growth

From 2010 to 2022, the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Robotics played a key role in accelerating the Swiss robotics scene's development of a new generation of robots that can work side by side with humans, fighting disabilities, facing emergencies and transforming education. The centre has funded R&D at 31 labs and the creation of 16 spin-offs. Together, these spin-offs have raised over CHF 100 million and some of them, like Flyability and ANYbotics, have grown into established businesses creating hundreds of high-tech jobs. The centre has also rolled out several educational and community initiatives to further the teaching of robotics in Switzerland.

Spotlight on Swiss robotics start-ups

A recent article in Robotics Tomorrow presented five Swiss robotics start-ups that have attracted attention with successful financing rounds:

  • Ascento Robotics – Revolutionizing security with autonomous patrol robots. Read the story in our swiss.tech article.
  • Lem Surgical – Enhancing surgical precision through robotics.
  • ANYbotics – Transforming industrial inspections with robotics.
  • SAEKI Robotics – Automating large-scale component manufacturing by integrating robotics and proprietary 3D printing technologies.
  • Ecorobotix – Advancing agriculture with robotic sprayers.


Additionally, the rise of drone-based and medical robotics technologies demonstrates the sector's expanding impact, with companies like NanoFlex leading developments in medical robotics applications.

Switzerland's ascent as a leader in robotics is not coincidental, but rather the result of a comprehensive strategy encompassing education, investment and policy-making. This multifaceted approach ensures that Switzerland will not only remain a hub for innovation in robotics but also drive forward the global industry's evolution.

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