Mechatronics, Automation, and Control Systems Laboratory

(MACS Lab) (Move, Act, Create, Serve)

The MACS Lab investigates theories and practice of dynamic systems and controls, to seek better understanding and engineering of the systematic interplay between data, system, and control in machines and automation processes that positively impact our lives.
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Control-oriented system modeling and identification, information fusion, adaptive and learning controls, robust control, precision mechatronics, and optimization.

Sample projects

Additive manufacturing, agile robots, semiconductor manufacturing, nm-scale precision control, vision-based control, human-machine interaction, and vibration rejection.


National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, NASA, Department of Defense, UTC Institute of Advanced Systems Engineering, and industries.

Selected Research Outcomes

Work from the MACS lab has been supported by the National Science Foundation, UTC Institute of Advanced Systems Engineering, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, NASA, and industries. Dr. Chen is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the SME Sandra L. Bouckley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, and the Young Investigator Award from the ISCIE / ASME International Symposium on Flexible Automation. Members of the MACS lab have received Best Paper Award from the International Symposium on Flexible Automation, Best Vibrations Paper Award, Best Student Paper Awards on Mechatronics and Robotics from the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division, Best Senior Design, and best paper in session awards in various conferences.

research snapshots

We conduct systematic research on mass customization, short-run and high-value manufacturing, and controls of complex systems.

Additive manufacturing

Control in different time scales: from precision laser-material interaction for aerospace and medical application to process reconfiguration and reclaiming materials.

robotics and learning FROM limited feedback

Robot control and collaborative sensing for systematic fast control under slow e.g. vision feedback.

Adaptive control

We were among the 3 teams that achieved the top results in an international benchmark on adaptive regulation.

tactile Sensing for Intelligent Control

We introduced a physics-informed, data-driven approach to continuously detect slip using the optical tactile sensor and demonstrated application in real-time slip detection and prevention in a dynamic robotic manipulation task.

Recent news

Our new paper title “A review of aging, degradation, and reusability of PA12 powders in selective laser sintering additive manufacturing” has just been published at Materials Today Communications. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art on important aspects of aging mechanisms and degradation behaviors of polyamide 12 powders in SLS

Study the frictional properties of ice

End of quarter lab event: MACS lab went to Kraken Community Iceplex for ice skating.

MACS lab member Feifei Yang successfully defended her PhD dissertation on “Understanding and Controlling Re-usability, Aging Kinetics, and Sustainability of Polyamide 12 in Selective Laser Sintering”


Xu Chen

Bryan T. McMinn Endowed Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University of Washington