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

SwRI joins Remanufacturing Industries Council

xray of robotic arm with the words Innovations in Automation Blog overlayed

When you think about industrial robotics or automation you might imagine a large factory filled with robotic arms assembling automobiles or automated machinery building up electronics. What you might not immediately think of is a robot performing a one-off task that changes with every work-piece presented to it – but that is something we do, and do well, with our Scan-N-Plan technology.

SwRI Cracks Cable Management for Cobots

powered rollers dress pack cables that go to the robot tool flange

Cable management is the mythical hydra of automation problems. For every edge case that is chopped off and solved, a new one appears to bite you. Dress pack management for collaborative robots, or “cobots,” has been a recurring problem for several years. The dress pack is the bundle of cables and hoses that connect to the robot’s tool flange. The more the robot moves, the more slack is needed to avoid pulling the dress pack so tightly that it gets damaged or stops the robot. If this extra length is left loose, it risks getting tangled.

Robotic Prepreg Composite Layup

Robotic gripper and consolidation tools performing a prepreg layup test

In the past two decades, composites have increasingly displaced aluminum as the structural material of choice in the aerospace industry. Previously considered an exotic material confined to high performance military aircraft, composites are now widely used in the civilian sector; the composite airframes of the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 being excellent examples. Although the exceptional strength-to-weight characteristics of composites make them ideal for aerospace components, manufacturing and material handling challenges can make implementation of such materials difficult.