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Robot manipulator design and development involves complex multidisciplinary engineering and mechatronics technology is a big part of the picture. Manipulator design requirements pose many challenges centered on the integration of precise high-speed mechanisms, compact form factors, and complex power trains. Competing requirements lead to difficult design processes and tradeoffs, and the fundamental mechatronics technologies available to the designer substantially influence the entire design cycle and ultimate solution. This presentation will review interesting aspects of previous manipulator designs and their characteristics. Speculations about areas where future mechatronics advances could substantially advance robot manipulator designs and performance will be discussed.