The common theme in the research activities of the Intelligent Mechanical Systems Research Unit is the embedding of intelligence in traditional mechanical systems. Spurred by recent advances in computing, communications, and network technology, and the development of new, cost-effective sensors and actuators at a wide range of scales, faculty within the unit are developing new robotic platforms based on parallel manipulator designs, advanced software and algorithms for motion planning and control, and physics-based simulation of complex multibody systems. Recent applications include parallel robots for rapid machining, prototyping, and flight simulation; robots for unconventional manufacturing environments; and motion programming software for humanoids.