The mechanical engineering department has had an active program in robotics for 40 years. Early work centered on multiaxis seam trackers for automotive welding processes, and this has evolved into research on the design, analysis and implementation of high-performance robots, sensors and controls. The lab supports research in advanced automation and robotics systems for both terrestrial and space applications. Emphasis has been on industry and NASA-funded research in robot guidance, intelligent end-effectors, complex system integration, machine design and tele-operation. Applications range from gene-chip robotics to plant growth system automation to welding and riveting in manufacturing. The laboratory is equipped with robots, vision systems, sensors, and high-performance distributed control systems.