Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Industrial Robotics & Automation

Industrial Robotics & Automation


For more than 35 years, SwRI has been developing innovative automation and robotics solutions. World-class experts and experienced engineers comprise the automation engineering staff. Automation engineering facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories and large prototype areas for development.

Innovations in Automation Blog

Robotic Inkjet Printing on 3D Surfaces

robotic inkjet printer

Inkjet printing methods on 2D surfaces have been a mature technology for many years within the high-resolution printing domain. Today, this technology is being expanded to 3D surfaces via robotic systems. At Southwest Research Institute, a large-scale prototype with industrial inkjet printing heads mounted to a robotic manipulator was developed, enabling digital graphic printing on 3D surfaces. Initially created for the aerospace industry, this inkjet prototype system was developed to apply colored graphics, also known as liveries, to the exterior of commercial aircraft. Since being demonstrated in 2019, SwRI has developed inkjet systems for other markets including automotive and logistics—printing both multi-colored graphics and non-graphical, functional fluids.

Using Machine Learning for Methane Leak Detection and Quantification

black and white image with red and blue plumes of gas shown

Methane emissions are a critical topic of interest as government and industry address rapid warming of the global climate. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, traps heat in the atmosphere at a much higher rate than carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane also makes up a significant percentage of fugitive emissions from oil and gas infrastructure that scientists have been trying to detect for many years.

No-Code Development for Robotics

This image depicts how a robot can predict collisions between robots and humans

The no-code development movement describes the proliferation of tools and frameworks that enable people untrained in traditional coding languages to develop useful software.