The idea for the CARIS lab really began in 2003 with Dr. Elizabeth Croft and a small group of graduate students with the focus on traditional automation. Early work with Dr. Dana Kulic started to move the idea of CARIS away from traditional automation and towards safety with robots and Human Robot Interactions (HRI). In 2005, Dr. Croft founded the CARIS lab in CEME 1057, beginning work in collaborative robotics. In the spring of 2007, Dr. Machiel Van der Loos joined CARIS as associate director, and in the same year, the CARIS lab moved to its current location at ICICS x015. In 2007, the CARIS lab received an accelerator grant, and in 2009, CARIS received a CFI grant. Both of these grants were used to improve the lab and the research produced. In 2011, a larger focus was placed on HRI, as CARIS used to focus on industrial robotics.