Industry Experience in Robotics and Automation Engineering
Robotics & Automation Engineering

image of SwRI-developed clean room automation

SwRI-developed clean room automation

image of Falcon Star Wing Manipulation Tool

Falcon Star wing manipulation tool. View the video.

image of autonomous underwater robot with sampling arm and biological sensor package designed by SwRI.

Autonomous underwater robot. Sampling arm and biological sensor package were designed by SwRI.

Experience in implementing automation and robotics solutions in a variety of industries is offered by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). This diversity in project experience allows us to leverage technologies from one industry into another. In addition, new and innovative solutions can be implemented by combining technologies from different industries.

Below is a partial list of industries and technology areas in which SwRI has expertise.


SwRI has developed a range of technology for the automotive industry. Automotive manufacturing work experiences range from development of turnkey production lines to automation add-ons for existing lines. We have also conducted research in using robotic systems for complex assembly tasks where compliance and force feedback is necessary to complete the task.

Project Link:

Food Production Industry

SwRI has extensive experience in meeting the high production quality standards of the food production industry. This includes designing sanitary equipment and implementing automated quality check systems for food safety.

In addition, we have studied the difficult problem of product variability and its adverse effects on product quality and machine reliability. By limiting production equipment's sensitivity to variability, we can greatly reduce product waste and productivity loss.

Electronics Industry

SwRI has worked on several automation projects in the electronics industry. We have experience working with and designing for clean room applications. Our knowledge of various sensors and robotics often allows us to solve problems that can't be solved with traditional methods of automation, such as simple pick and place assembly. With automation, 100% inspection checks are possible, which can drastically increase quality levels and reliability.

Autonomous underwater robot. Sampling arm and biological sensor package were designed by SwRI.

Aerospace Industry

The SwRI Automation Engineering Section conducts work in the aerospace industry. Our expertise in reliable machine design and cutting edge sensor technology makes us an ideal partner for autonomous space/hazardous environments robot applications.

Project Links:

Defense/Military Industry

Our staff has almost two decades of experience working with military and other defense clients. We specialize in automating maintenance tasks that are dangerous or time-consuming for personnel. Automation of such tasks drastically reduces risk and costs associated with injuries to personnel. In addition, We often provide continuing long term support for our automation projects. This support often includes maintenance as well as upgrades and replacements of aging technologies.

Project Links:

F-16 wing removal/installation tool.

Packaging/Shipping Industry

SwRI has significant experience in designing and troubleshooting packaging issues. Often poorly designed packaging equipment can cause significant cost, not only in replacement value but also in loss of customer satisfaction. Our innovative packaging designs protect the contents while minimizing cost and size.

SwRI can also automate many shipping tasks. Product storage, retrieval and even palletization can all be automated, significantly improving warehouse productivity. A fully automated warehouse can accurately track millions of products, giving management and operations a real-time status of inventories and orders. In addition, automation provides tremendous gains in efficiency, traceability, and waste reduction.

Related Terminology

automation engineering  •  robotics  •  mechanical design  •  aerospace industry  •  military agencies  •  defense industry  •  electronics  •  food production  •  shipping/packaging  •  food engineering  •  food science  •  presses  •   canning  •  bottling  •  electronics industry  •  soldering  •  pick and place  •  inspection  •  quality  •  reliability  •   aerospace  •  NASA  •  defense  •  military  •  navy  •  army  •  packaging •  shipping  •  box  •  cardboard  •  pallet

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.