The Center for Robotics at IIT Kanpur was established in 1989 through a grant of Rupees 5 million from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, mainly through the efforts of Prof. Amitabha Ghosh. Thereafter, the activities in Robotics at IIT Kanpur increased through more student projects, both at the postgraduateand undergraduate levels, more thesis work at M.Tech and Ph.D. levels, and many sponsored and consultancy projects. It moved to its current premises at Room NL 312 at the Northern Lab Building in 1990. The same year the first formal Head, Prof. Ashok Malik was appointed. During this time, work in the area of Mobile Robotics got well established.
It was realized that to have a balanced growth in an area like Robotics, it was necessary to invilve more than a single department, and faculty from at least four academic departments and several interdisciplinary programs were soon participating in the activities. Subsequently, to better reflect its interdisciplinary nature, the Center was renamed 'Center for Mechatronics' in 1994, during the Headship of Prof.Himanshu Hatwal. However, the names 'Robotics Center' and 'Roblab" remained, especially, amongst the students with whom the laboratory had become increasingly popular by this time.
Prof. Harish Karnick, the subsequent Head, took the Center strongly in the direction of Machine Vision and Image Processing, while the next Head, Prof. Amitabha Mukherjee, laid the foundation for work in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Robot Gaming and many other areas. The Robotics Centre has initiated a number of activities in the frontier area of Mechatronics, and has become truly interdisciplinary. In view of this, the name of the Center has been changed to 'Center for Mechatronics'.