New home for hardware startups in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard

New Lab, which co-founder David Belt described as “a collaborative workspace” for companies in fields like robotics and artificial intelligence, officially opened last month.

The facility is located in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, in a building that was once used to assemble ships. Belt said he wanted to bring the building back as a manufacturing center, except updated for today’s industries and technologies.

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“There’s many resources in New York for software companies,” he told us. “But for companies that are trying to make hardware, there aren’t as many resources, and the resources don’t have the type of tools and community that we think are needed. So New Lab is trying to be kind of an independent area where people can come and they can prototype and innovate together and really be very effective in bringing their products to market.”

In other words, hardware companies need more than just desks and a good internet connection, so New Lab includes facilities with tools like welders, laser cutters and 3D printers — tools you might need to build actual prototypes.

We recently got a chance to tour the building and also interview some of the first residents, including representatives from Honeybee Robotics (which builds robots for a range of uses, including medicine and exploring Mars), Nanotronics (automated industrial microscopes) and StrongArm Technologies (equipment for “industrial athletes,” such as warehouse workers).

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